Diabetes

Nearly 10 percent of Americans are affected by diabetes, with over one million new diagnoses made each year. Diabetes is a group of diseases that disrupts normal insulin production and blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease characterized by the destruction of insulin producing beta cells of the pancreas leading to insulin deficiency. T1D is typically diagnosed in juveniles and those affected stay on insulin therapy for life. Those affected with type 2 diabetes produce insulin, but cannot use it properly to regulate their blood sugar. Type 2 is the most common form and is managed with insulin as needed, but often times can be controlled with diet and exercise. Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy and starts when your body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs during pregnancy.

The Diabetes Group at Sanford Research has research spanning TD1, type 2 and gestational diabetes. Risk factors and preventative measures of type 2 and gestational diabetes are studied along with how these diseases lead to increased risk for additional complications. Special interest lies on TD1 with The Sanford Project, an initiative to cure T1D. Basic, translational and clinical research approaches are focused on three fundamental problems of the disease: autoimmunity, regeneration and prevention. 

 

Autoimmunity

What are the underlying mechanisms that cause the immune system to attack pancreatic beta cells?

Regeneration

How can we restore beta cell function and promote beta cell survival and regeneration?

Prevention

What are the genetic and envirionmental factors of predisposition to the disease?

 

With the understanding of these underlying disease mechanisms we can apply cutting edge research to discover, test and implement novel therapeutics to prevent, manage and cure the different forms of diabetes.

Primary Faculty

Secondary Faculty