Creating immune system ‘assassins’ to protect insulin-producing cells

Scientific title: Genetically-modified T cells for the protection of regenerated beta cells in type 1 diabetes
Principal Investigators: Professors Susan Wong and Gideon Gross
Institutions: Cardiff University and MIGAL – Galilee Research Institute

Photo of Susan Wong
Susan Wong

Project duration: 10/03/2015 – 31/05/2019

Objective: Type 1 diabetes occurs when cells of the immune system kill off the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas. That is why a key part of our plan to cure the condition involves stopping this attack.

One way to do this would be to remove the rogue immune cells before they can do any damage. That is the focus of this collaboration, which brings together two researchers with complementary skill sets.

Professor Gross’s team has previously found a way to generate immune cells that can be targeted to kill off harmful cells – a process he has previously used in cancer research – while Professor Wong’s expertise is in identifying the immune cells behind type 1.

Together, the two will work to grow immune cells that can kill off the rogue cells that normally cause type 1.

Gideon Gross
Gideon Gross

This project is one of two BIRAX (Britain Israel Research and Academic Exchange Partnership) grants, jointly funded by JDRF and the British Council. Read about the other here.

Categories: Cure, Partnership, Immune Therapies