Meet the Scientist: Local Immune Suppression with a Novel Protein

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Mark Poznansky, M.D., Ph.D., wants the seemingly impossible—a person with type 1 diabetes (T1D) has a procedure where beta cells are placed in their body, the doctor stitches it up and the person has functioning insulin-producing beta cells, for life. Of course, we’re not there yet, but, with Dr. Poznansky—and many, many other researchers—JDRF hopes to be there soon.

Dr. Poznansky’s research focuses on beta cell transplantation. Specifically, beta cell transplantation without the need for systemic immune suppression, which can have serious long-term side effects. He discovered the human protein CXCL12, which serves to maintain a local immunosuppressed environment where it is expressed. He and others are carrying out preclinical studies to find out if it works in promoting the survival and function of transplanted beta cells. If these studies are successful, it will pave the way for a clinical trial in people with T1D.

Hear Dr. Poznansky talk about his research—and get introduced to many more JDRF-supported investigators—by visiting our new site Meet the Scientists. See how researchers are forging their own paths to help find cures and improve the lives of those living with T1D.

Funding beta cell replacement research is extremely important to JDRF. Please consider donating today, to help push our progress forward toward T1D cures with your support.

By Alexandra Mulvey