Clinical trial explores new therapeutic for type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic condition in which the body’s own immune system attacks and destroys beta cells in the pancreas. Once the beta cells are destroyed, the pancreas can no longer produce insulin. Currently, there is no cure for T1D and treatment focuses on managing blood sugar levels.

Researchers at MUSC, including Hongjun Wang, Ph.D., tenured professor in the Department of Surgery, hope to offer patients a better alternative.Wang joined MUSC eight years ago, believing the excellence in islet cell transplantation, a clean cell facility, and a focus on population health provided the perfect opportunity for her to conduct research that she hopes will lead to a cure for patients with T1D.

“I am very grateful Dr. Baliga recruited me eight years ago,” said Wang. “MUSC provides the resources to build on what I learned at Harvard under my mentor, Fritz Bach, M.D., a brilliant transplant immunologist, and apply it to my work in islet cell transplantation and T1D.”She adds the opportunity to work collaboratively with other investigators who are also passionate about translating the basic science to solutions for patients suffering from diabetes is important.

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