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Jennifer Wang, MD

jennifer wang diabetes

Principal Investigator

Professor of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology (clinical) 

UMass Chan Diabetes Center of Excellence (research)

Dr. Wang is committed to understanding innate immune response to viral infection and how innate immunity contributes to the etiology and pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes (T1D). She's made a significant contribution to the field of infectious diseases and immunology with more than 60 peer-reviewed publications, including high-impact scientific journals such as Cell, the New England Journal of Medicine and Nature Communications.

For the past decade, Dr. Wang has investigated the evolution of influenza A virus under the selective pressure of antiviral drugs, antibodies, and reassortment. Recently she has initiated laboratory work with SARS-CoV-2, studying transcriptional findings at the single-cell level in diverse respiratory cells and utilizes in vitro and in vivo models for infection.

She also studies the type I interferon (IFN) and inflammatory response during Coxsackievirus infection and how this may lead to the development of T1D. Dr. Wang initially demonstrated that Coxsackie B virus stimulates IFN-α from plasmacytoid dendritic cells by showing that opsonization of the virus with specific antibody is required to deliver viral nucleic acid to intracellular Toll-like receptor 7 (PMID: 17339429 ). In a separate study, she found that the cytoplasmic receptor MDA5, or IFIH1, plays a critical role in the host response to Coxsackie B virus (PMID: 19846534). These studies directly led to her ongoing research on how the induction of type I IFN pathways contribute to the pathogenesis of diabetes (PMID: 29369915). She works with several rodent models of diabetes and generated an IFN receptor knockout rat which is resistant to diabetes (PMID: 27999109). She's identifying novel transcriptional changes at the single-cell level during the pre-diabetic phase.

Dr. Wang arrived at UMass Chan Medical School in 2003 as the recipient of a Career Development Award from the National Institutes of Health. She's risen to Professor of Medicine with tenure and is an active clinician in infectious diseases at UMass Memorial Health in Worcester, MA. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health, DARPA and the Department of Defense. Since 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Wang is an investigator on numerous clinical trials to treat and prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection.

  • Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
  • UMass Chan Medical School Institutional Biosafety Committee
  • Faculty member of the Immunology and Microbiology Program, Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Translational Science Program and Program in Innate Immunity.
  • Served as an ad hoc reviewer and chair for several NIH study sections
  • Mentors several graduate students


AB Biochemical Sciences, Harvard College
MD, University of Michigan
Internal Medicine Residency: Oregon Health and Sciences University
Fellowship in Infectious Diseases: University of California, San Diego