Michael A. Brehm, PhD
Associate Professor, Program in Molecular Medicine
Robert and Sandra Glass Term Chair in Diabetes
BS in Microbiology, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, Philadelphia, PA
PhD in Microbiology/Immunology, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA
Major Area of Investigation
Understanding the etiology and pathogenesis of autoimmune type 1 diabetes.
Our Research Goal
We use our unique animal models of human immune responses to investigate approaches to downregulate as well as activate the human immune system for treatments of type 1 diabetes and cancer. Our goal is to study human beta cells from individuals with type 1 diabetes in a "real life" setting where they will interact with intact T1D immune systems.
Some of Our Current Research Includes:
Specialized Mouse Avatars for T1D
Reconstructing human T1D, using cells derived from T1D patients, in our novel immunodeficient mouse. It provides a better understanding about how humans might react to certain factors.
Use of Specialized Mouse Models to Determine the Role of Costimulation Pathway Reagents in Human Immune Cells In Vivo
Assessing the role of human T cell costimulation pathway reagents in vivo using our unique specialized mouse models.
Development and Validation of Novel Mouse Models for Human Stem Cell Therapy
Working to generate new models of immunodeficient mice for the functional in vivo evaluation of human stem cells and to validate these models by determining the ability of human stem cells to generate functional differentiated human cells and tissues that ameliorate disease.
Graphene Composite Membranes for Nano-Enabled Macroencapsulation
Developing an encapsulation device using graphene composite membranes in collaboration with Lockheed Martin to assess the viability and function of encapsulated human islets in vivo.
From New Models to Novel Therapeutics
Co-Director with Dr. Dale Greiner of a pre-clinical/co-clinical Research Core to advance development and use of models of human specific diseases. The Core is working with The Jackson Laboratory (JAX) and Precision Genetics Center (JPGC) promoting interactions with clinicians and hospitals, access to patient data and samples and comprehensive model assessment necessary for generation of models engrafted with human tumors and immune systems for preclinical testing.