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Current Research in Jennifer Wang's Laboratory

rna-situ-hybridization

RNA in situ hybridization defines the spatial distribution of the prediabetic rat islet cell transcriptome

Type 1 Diabetes Research

Dr. Wang’s ongoing research involves the study of human islets as well as rodent models to identify autoimmune and inflammatory pathways which could potentially be blocked to prevent disease development.  

Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is caused by insulin deficiency resulting from the destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. NIH-funded research in Dr. Wang's lab is investigating how viral infection may trigger T1D. Using primary human islets, both in vitro or engrafted in mice in vivo, as well as rat models of diabetes, our research is looking at relationships between infection, innate immunity, inflammation and islet function. 

Respiratory Virus Research

Dr. Wang studies innate immune responses to respiratory viruses including influenza and SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19.

Influenza A virus (IAV) causes a highly contagious acute respiratory illness that is responsible for significant morbidity and mortality in humans. IAV causes both seasonal epidemics and worldwide pandemics. Our current research, funded by DARPA and the Department of Defense, studies immune responses during infection with influenza IAV or SARS-CoV-2. We're actively engaged in human clinical studies to prevent and treat human respiratory viruses.

Physician-Scientist Jennifer Wang Uses Stem-Cell Derived Beta Cells to Study the Effects of Viral Infections on Type 1 Diabetes Development

wang-study-2020.PNG

Enteroviruses encompass a group of viruses that give rise to infectious illnesses which are usually mild. However, if enteroviruses such as coxsackievirus infect the central nervous system or heart, they can cause serious illness. Enteroviral infections are also associated with type 1 diabetes, but how is not well understood. The Wang lab is using stem-cell derived beta cells to study virus-driven immunology and beta cell dysfunction, with the ultimate goal of new treatments.  LEARN MORE

Dr. Wang Receives Funding Grant to Continue Studying How Viruses Trigger Type 1 Diabetes

How virus triggers type 1 diabetes

The Wang lab plans to better understand type 1 diabetes by working with a new animal model to identify pathways which could be stopped in order to prevent the disease from developing.  LEARN MORE