Dr Allison Green, Centre for Immunology and Infection, has recently been given the opportunity to further her research into diabetes over a period of three years. Dr Green recently delivered a key note lecture at a Diabetes UK sponsored conference and has also been awarded a £250,000 grant by the same charity.
Type 1 Diabetes is a condition where the body’s own immune system destroys the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. The loss of insulin production can lead to life-threatening conditions and disability. At present, it is unclear why the immune system targets our own beta cells.
Research in Dr Green's laboratory has identified an abnormal accumulation of a certain type of immune cell, termed a B cell, in the thymus in pre-clinical models of Type 1 Diabetes. The three year project grant will focus on identifying the role thymic B cells play in abrogating the normal function of the thymus- to purge the body of immune cells capable of attacking our own tissues. Results from this study should give us a clear insight into the mechanisms that contribute to beta cell destruction and the development of Type 1 Diabetes.