Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a human disease involving progressive autoimmune destruction of the b-cells in the pancreatic islets. Inflammatory cytokines are important inducers of T1D, however their precise mechanisms of action in T1D pathogenesis remain unclear. A clearer understanding of these processes will provide better opportunities for therapeutic intervention in human T1D patients.
Recent findings show that IL-27 and IL-27 receptor are essential for the development of T1D in animal models, suggesting that IL-27 is a critical regulator of T1D pathogenesis. This project aims to define the IL-27 regulated immune mechanisms that are essential for disease development and test the therapeutic effects of immune inhibitors targeted against these pathways in T1D. The project will make use of both mouse and human systems including immune inhibitors, CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, cellular and molecular immunology techniques, pancreatic islet isolation, RNA-seq and flow cytometry.