HIRN 2021 Trainee Scholarship Recipients

The following trainees are recipients of the HIRN 2020 Scholarship based on competitive review of abstracts by members of the HIRN Planning Committee.

Giorgio Basile, PhD

Institution: Joslin Diabetes Center
Title:  Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Affiliation: CTAR (Kulkarni Lab)

 

Giorgio Basile is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the laboratory of Professor Rohit N. Kulkarni at the Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School. He completed his PhD in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism from the University of Rome, Sapienza. His interest for the research in diabetes started during his doctoral studies, when he took over a project aimed to identify genetic causes of familiar forms of diabetes, under the supervision of Prof. Vincenzo Trischitta. His previous work was on the characterization of endogenous factors, as well as bioactive small molecules, that could promote human Beta Cell proliferation. His current research focuses on identifying key regulatory pathways of Beta Cell proliferation and how alterations in gene expression contribute to the loss of function of the Beta Cell in diabetes development.

Hugh Bender, PhD

Institution: Univ. California, Irvine
Title:  Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Affiliation: CHIB (Hughes Lab)

 

Hugh Bender is a Postdoctoral Scholar in Christopher Hughes’ lab at the University of California, Irvine.  He received his Ph.D. in Developmental, Regenerative, and Stem Cell Biology from Washington University in St. Louis. During his time in the Hughes Lab, he has developed the Islet-Vascularized Micro-Organ — a novel, biomimetic tissue-on-chip platform for maintaining human islets in the lab.  His ongoing work seeks to incorporate human immune cells within this platform to better model beta cell damage during Type 1 Diabetes disease progression

Roberto Castro-Gutierrez

Institution: Univ. Colorado
Title:  Doctoral Graduate Student
Affiliation: CBDS (Russ Lab)

 

Roberto Castro-Gutierrez is currently a 5th year PhD candidate in the Molecular Biology program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Roberto received his BS degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Texas at El Paso.  His research uses genetically engineered stem cell derived beta-like cells (sBCs) to understand the underlying causes of autoimmune diabetes and to develop novel treatment modalities. His recent work established in vitro and in vivo platforms to evaluate the role of PD-L1 and HLA class I proteins in the immune protection of sBCs. He is interested in perusing a scientific career in the field of cell replacement therapy.

Dario F. De Jesus, PhD

Institution: Joslin Diabetes Center
Title:  Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Affiliation: CBDS (Kulkarni Lab)

 

 

Dario De Jesus is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the laboratory of Professor Rohit N. Kulkarni at the Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School, where he holds an ADA Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dr. De Jesus joined the Kulkarni laboratory initially as a Fulbright Research Scholar during his Master’s studies. He later enrolled in the Graduate Program of Basic and Applied Biology (GABBA) at the University of Porto, Portugal and returned to the Kulkarni laboratory to complete his PhD focused on research related to metabolic reprogramming of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. He is currently interested in mRNA modifications and especially in the role of N6-methyladenosine (m6A) in pancreatic islet cell function and survival in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.

Xiaofeng Huang, PhD

Institution: Weill Cornell Medical College
Title:  Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Affiliation: CTAR (Zhou Lab)

 

Xiaofeng Huang is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Qiao Zhou at the Weill Cornell Medical College. He received his B.S. in Biotechnology from Xiamen University in China and his Ph.D. in Molecular Virology from the University of Hong Kong in Hong Kong, China. His current research goal is to develop a technology to derive large numbers of functional insulin-secreting cells from the abundant renewable sources of human gastric stem cells to treat Type 1 Diabetes.

Charles Lazimi

Institution: Univ. Florida
Title:  Doctoral Graduate Student

Affiliation: CHIB (Phelps Lab)

 

Charles Lazimi is a 1st year PhD student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida in the lab of Dr. Ed Phelps. He received his BS and MS degrees in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida. While completing his master’s he was hired as a research scientist at L&L Biotech in Gainesville Florida where he developed skills in Molecular Cloning. His Masters capstone project consisted of sub-cloning a beta cell specific promoter into a GABA biosensor construct to detect endogenous GABA release in Human islets. The aim of his current research is to incorporate cloned biosensors into microphysiological systems to better characterize islet-immune interactions and islet neurotransmitter auto/paracrine signaling

Charanya Muralidharan

Institution: Indiana University
Title:  Doctoral Graduate Student
Affiliation: CBDS (Linnemann Lab)

 

Charanya Muralidharan is a 5th year PhD Student in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Indiana University School of Medicine in the lab of Dr. Amelia K. Linnemann. She received her Bachelor’s in Technology (B. Tech) in Bioinformatics from SASTRA University, India. She received her first Master’s in Science (MS) in Cell & Molecular Biology at the Illinois Institute of Technology and a 2nd MS at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) School of Sciences in Biology. Her initial studies were in the lab of Dr. Susan Walsh where she studied pigmentation genetics in the context of Forensic phenotyping. Her current research is on autophagy in the beta cells in the context of type 1 diabetes by implementing various molecular biology techniques and intravital imaging.

Kim-Vy Nguyen-Ngoc, PhD

Institution: Univ. California, San Diego
Title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Affiliation: CHIB (Sander Lab)

 

Kim-Vy Nguyen-Ngoc is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Laboratory of Maike Sander at the University of California, San Diego. She received her Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University in Cell Biology with Dr. Andrew Ewald. During her time at the Sander lab, she has developed disease models to study diabetes using human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived islet cells. She established an organotypic culture model to vascularize hPSC-islets, which will serve as a platform for islet physiology and drug testing.

Benjamen O’Donnell, PhD

Institution: Univ. California, Irvine
Title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Affiliation: CHIB (Hughes Lab)

 

Benjamen O’Donnell is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Christopher Hughes and the University of California, Irvine. He received his Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering at Saint Louis University before completing his PhD. in Bioinnovation at Tulane University. His dissertation focused on developing a microphysiological system modeling the effects of type II diabetes on an osteoarthritic synovial knee joint. His current work involves expanding an existing human vascularized micro-organ pancreatic islet model to incorporate circulating immune cells. This model will then be used to investigate the onset of type I diabetes and disease progression.

Julia Panzer, PhD

Institution: Univ. Miami
Title: Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Affiliation: HPAC (Caicedo Lab)

 

Dr. Julia Panzer is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in the laboratory of Dr. Alejandro Caicedo. She is trained as a food chemist and completed her PhD in Human Biology at the Technical University Dresden with Dr. Stephan Speier in Germany. During her doctoral studies she implemented the human slice platform to study islets in their native environment. Her current research focus on human islet development and alpha cell dysfunction in Type 1 Diabetes.

 

 

NIH NIDDK New Investigator Gateway Award Recipients (2021)

Congratulations to the 2021 Recipients of the NIH NIDDK New Investigator Gateway Awards

Congratulations to these three investigators on joining HIRN via the NIH NIDDK Gateway Award Initiative.  This award was designed to ensure that a robust pipeline of talented new investigators will continue to embark on successful careers in type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. The recipients will be embedded within the HIRN scientific framework to provide unique opportunities for New and Early Stage Investigators to increase their understanding of key questions in the field, to network, and to establish unique and potentially long-lasting collaborations that will propel their careers forward. It is anticipated that the Gateway award will provide the support needed to enhance the success of future R01 submissions from New Investigators interested in pursuing careers in T1D research.

 

Hirotake Komatsu, PhD
City of Hope 
Vascular Network-mimetic Oxygen-Transporting Mesh for Islet Graft” (CHIB)

 

Baoyu Liu, PhD
University of Utah
On the Plasticity of Beta-cell Antigen Recognition by Diabetogenic CD8 T cells” (CMAI)
Joao Pedro Saar Werneck de Castro, PhD
University of Miami
In vivo effects of physical exercise on human islet structure and function “(HPAC)

 

 

 

 

 

HIRN 2021 Emerging Leaders Award Recipients

Congratulations to the 2021 Recipients of the HIRN Emerging Leader Awards

Congratulations to these five postdoctoral fellows for joining HIRN via our internally  funded “Emerging Leader” funding initiative.  This initiative was designed to provide support and protected time for senior postdoctoral fellows seeking to pursue studies that will enhance their transition toward independent research careers. Applications are sought from experienced postdoctoral fellows with a minimum of two years of ongoing postdoctoral experience who intend to continue research careers in scientific areas supported by the Human Islet Research Network. This opportunity is designed specifically for applicants proposing research that does not involve leading an independent clinical trial, a clinical trial feasibility study, or an ancillary study to a clinical trial that is itself comprised of a clinical trial intervention.

 

 

Juan Alvarez, PhD
Harvard University

Leonardo Ferreira, PhD
University of California, San Francisco

Vira Kravets, PhD
University of Colorado, Denver

Karla Leavens, MD, PhD
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

Robert Sharp, PhD
University of Florida

 

HIRN 2020 Trainee Scholarship Recipients

The following trainees are recipients of the HIRN 2020 Scholarship based on competitive review of abstracts by members of the HIRN Planning Committee.

Joshua Chiou

Institution: University of California, San Diego

Title: Doctoral Graduate Student

Affiliation: HPAC (Gaulton Lab)

Dario De Jesus, PhD

Institution : Joslin Diabetes Center

Title : Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Affiliation : CBDS (Kulkarni Lab)

Shen Dong, PhD

Institution : University of California, San Francisco

Title : Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Affiliation : CMAI (Bluestone Lab)

Angela Kruse, PhD

Institution : Vanderbilt University

Title : Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Affiliation : CBDS (Caprioli Lab)

Rachel Madley

Institution : Columbia University Medical Center

Title : Doctoral Graduate Student

Affiliation : CMAI (Sykes Lab)

Padma Nanaware

Institution : University of Massachusetts Medical School

Title : Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Affiliation : CMAI (Stern Lab)

 

Institution : University of California, San Francisco

Title : Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Affiliation : CMAI (Tang Lab)

Magdalena Samojlik

Institution : University of Florida

Title : Doctoral Graduate Student

Affiliation : CHIB (Stabler Lab)

Alexandra Theis

Institution : University of Colorado Denver

Title : Doctoral Graduate Student

Affiliation : CBDS (Sussel Lab)

New Awards from RFA-19-024: Discovery of Early Type 1 Diabetes Disease Processes in the Human Pancreas (CBDS)

New HIRN Grants from RFA-19-024: Discovery of Early Type 1 Diabetes Processes in the Pancreas (CBDS)

Peter Arvan*, PhD, University of Michigan
Leslie Satin, PhD, University of Michigan
Scott Soleimanpour, PhD, University of Michigan

Lori Sussel*, PhD, University of Colorado, Investigator
Charles Ansong, PhD, Investigator, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories
Maggie (Pui Yu) Lam,  PhD, co-Investigator, Pacific Northwest National Laboratories
Ernesto Nakayasu, PhD, co-Investigator, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Galya Orr, PhD, co-Investigator, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Shi Tujin, PhD, co-Investigator, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Shuibing Chen*, PhD, Weill Cornell Medical College
Steven Parker, PhD, Investigator, University of Michigan
Chengyang Liu, PhD, Co-Investigator, University of Pennsylvania

Golnaz Vahedi*, PhD, Investigator, University of Pennsylvania

Raghu Mirmira*, PhD, Investigator, University of Chicago
Decio Eizirik, PhD, Investigator, Indiana Biosciences Research Institute
Carmella Evans-Molina, MD, Investigator, Indiana University
Thomas Metz, PhD, Investigator, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Bobbie-Jo Webb-Robinson, PhD, Investigator, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Sasanka Ramandha, PhD, Investigator, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Scott Oakes, PhD, Co-Investigator, University of Chicago
Sarah Tersey, PhD, Co-Investigator, University of Chicago
Manami Hara, PhD, Co-Investigator, University of Chicago
Ernesto Nakayasu, PhD, Co-Investigator, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Emily Sims, MD, Co-Investigator, Indiana University
Wenting Wu, PhD, Co-Investigator, Indiana University
Xiaoyong Lei, PhD, Co-Investigator, University of Alabama at Birmingham

* Denotes Contact PI

NIH NIDDK New Investigator Gateway Award Recipients (2020)

Congratulations to the 2020 Recipients of the NIH NIDDK New Investigator Gateway Awards

Congratulations to these four investigators on joining HIRN via the NIH NIDDK Gateway Award Initiative.  This award was designed to ensure that a robust pipeline of talented new investigators will continue to embark on successful careers in type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. The recipients will be embedded within the HIRN scientific framework to provide unique opportunities for New and Early Stage Investigators to increase their understanding of key questions in the field, to network, and to establish unique and potentially long-lasting collaborations that will propel their careers forward. It is anticipated that the Gateway award will provide the support needed to enhance the success of future R01 submissions from New Investigators interested in pursuing careers in T1D research.

New Awards from RFA-18-014: HIRN Consortium on Targeting and Regeneration (CTAR)

New HIRN Grants from RFA-18-014: HIRN Consortium on Targeting and Regeneration (CTAR)

Bridget Wagner*, PhD, Broad Institute, Investigator
Amit Choudhary, PhD, Broad Institute, Investigator
Rohit Kulkarni MD, PhD, Joslin Diabetes Center, Investigator

CTAR

Gene Therapy for Diabetes

U01 DK123608

Hiroyuki Nakai*, PhD, Oregon Health and Science University, Investigator
Markus Grompe, PhD, Oregon Health and Science University, Investigator
Mark Kay, MD, PhD, Stanford University, Investigator

Feroz Papa*, MD, PhD, Univ. California, San Francisco, Investigator
Dustin Maly, PhD, University of Washington, Investigator

Seung Kim*, MD, PhD, Stanford University, Investigator
Everett Meyer, MD, PhD, Stanford University, Investigator
Alvin Powers, MD, Vanderbilt University, Investigator

* Denotes Contact PI

New Awards: RFA-DK-18-013: HIRN Consortium on Modeling Autoimmune Interactions (CMAI)

New HIRN Grants from RFA-18-013: HIRN Consortium on Modeling Autoimmune Interactions (CMAI)

Megan Sykes*, MD, Columbia University, Investigator
Mark Anderson, MD, PhD, University of California, San Francisco, Investigator
Matthias Hebrok, PhD, University of California, San Francisco, Investigator
Audrey Parent, PhD, University of California, San Francisco, Investigator 
Remi J Creusot, PhD, Columbia University, Co-Investigator
Robin Goland, MD, Columbia University, Co-Investigator

CMAI

Humanized Mouse Avatars
for T1D

UC4 DK104218**

Dale Greiner*, PhD, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Investigator
Michael Brehm, PhD, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Investigator
Leonard Schultz, PhD, The Jackson Laboratory, Investigator
George Daley, PhD, Harvard University, Investigator
Doug Melton, PhD, Harvard University, Investigator
Rene Maehr, PhD, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Co-Investigator
David Harlan, MD, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Co-Investigator

* Denotes Contact PI
** Grant Renewal

New Awards: RFA-DK-18-011: HIRN Consortium on Human Islet Biomimetics (CHIB)

New HIRN Grants from RFA-18-011: HIRN Consortium on Human Islet Biomimetics (CHIB)

Cherie Stabler, PhD (Univ. of Florida)*
Investigator: Ashu Agarwal, PhD (Univ. Miami)
Investigator: Todd Brusko, PhD (Univ. Florida)
Investigator: Clayton Mathews, PhD (Univ. Florida)
Co-Investigator: Rhonda Bacher, PhD (Univ. Florida)
Co-Investigator: Edward Phelps, PhD (Univ. Florida)
Co-Investigator: Naohiro Terada, PhD(Univ. Florida)

Maike Sander, MD (Univ. California, San Diego)*
Investigator: Christopher Hughes, PhD (Univ. California, Irvine)
Co-Investigator: Luc Teyton, MD, PhD (Scripps Research Institute)
Co-Investigator: Karen Christman, PhD (Univ. California, San Diego)
Co-Investigator: Steven George, PhD (Univ. California, Davis)

Ben Stanger, PhD (Univ. Pennsylvania)*
Investigator: Dan Hugh, PhD (Univ. Pennsylvania)
Investigator: James Riley, PhD (Univ. Pennsylvania) 
Co-Investigator: Ali Naji, MD (Univ. Pennsylvania)
Co-Investigator: Wenli Yang, PhD (Univ. Pennsylvania) 

* Denotes Contact PI

New Award: RFA-DK-18-021: Discovery of Early Type 1 Diabetes Disease Biomarkers in the Human Pancreas (CBDS)

One new HIRN CBDS grant was awarded “Development of an Early Diagnostic Biomarker and Novel Treatment Strategy for T1D” to Dr. Anath Shalev at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. 

Summary: The objective of this HIRN grant is to establish a non-invasive biomarker for pancreatic beta cell loss in humans with T1D and help develop novel approaches for the early diagnosis and treatment of T1D.

Anath Shalev, MD Shalev Lab Members Visual Schematic of Project

New Awards: RFA-DK-17-022: High-Resolution Exploration of the Human Islet Tissue Environment (HPAC)

New HIRN Grants from RFA-DK-17-022: High-Resolution Exploration of the Human Islet Tissue Environment (HPAC)

Juan Dominguez-Bendala (Univ. of Miami)*
Investigator: Ricardo Pastori (Univ. of Miami)
Co-Investigator: Alejandro Caicedo (Univ. of Miami)
Co-Investigator: Camillo Ricordi (Univ. of Miami.)

Maike Sander (Univ. California, San Diego)*
Kyle Jeffrie Gaulton (Univ. California, San Diego)
Co-Investigator: David Gorkin (Univ. California, San Diego)
Co-Investigator: Sebastian Preissl (Univ. California, San Diego)
Co-Investigator: Al Powers (Vanderbilt  Univ.)

Alejandro Caicedo (Univ. Miami)*
Co-Investigator: Marcela Brissova (Vanderbilt Univ.)
Co-Investigator: Stephan Speier (Paul Langerhans Institut)

Patrick MacDonald (Univ. of Alberta)*
Co-Investigator: Stephen Quake (Stanford Univ.)
Co-Investigator: Martin Hetzer (Salk Institute)
Co-Investigator: Emma Lundberg (KTH Stockholm)
Co-Investigator: Seung Kim (Stanford Univ.)/p>

* Denotes Contact PI

HIRN 2018 New Investigator Award Recipients

Recipients of the HIRN 2018 New Investigator Awards

Seven investigators were selected to carryout bold and highly innovative new research approaches to biological problems under current investigation in HIRN.  They will join their respective consortium conference calls and attend the HIRN Annual Investigator Meeting.

New Awards: RFA-DK-17-003: Therapeutic Targeting of the Human Islet Environment (UC4)

New HIRN Grants from RFA-DK-17-003: Therapeutic Targeting of the Human Islet Environment (UC4)

Paolo Serafini (Univ. of Miami)*
Midhat Abdulreda (Univ. of Miami)
Co-Investigator: Peter Buchwald (Univ. of Miami)
Co-Investigator: Camillo Ricordi (Univ. of Miami)
Co-Investigator: Natasa Strbo (Univ. of Miami)

Jeffrey Bluestone (Univ. California, San Francisco)*
Wendell Lim (Univ. California, San Francisco)
Co-Investigator: Qizhi Tang (Univ. California, San Francisco)
Co-Investigator: Kole Roybal (Univ. California, San Francisco)

Seung Kim (Stanford Univ.)*
Everett Meyer (Stanford Univ)
Co-Investigator: Philip Streeter (Oregon Health & Science Univ.)

Amit Choudhary (Broad Institute)*
Bridget Wagner (Broad Institute)
Rohit Kulkarni (Joslin Diabetes Center)

* Denotes Contact PI

RFA-DK-17-004: Competitive Collaborative Projects for Human Islet Biology (UC4)

New Awards: RFA-DK-17-004: Competitive Collaborative Projects for Human Islet Biology (UC4)

Qiao Zhou (Harvard Univ.)*
Stephan Kissler (Joslin Diabetes Center)

Sally Kent (Univ. of Massachusetts Medical School)*
David Harlan (Univ. of Massachusetts Medical School)
Lawrence Stern (Univ. of Massachusetts Medical School)
Co-Investigator: Dirk Homann (Mount Sinai School of Medicine)

Michael Roper (Florida State Univ.)*
Christopher Hughes (Univ. of California, Irvine)
Ryan White (Univ. of Cincinatti)

Desmond Schatz (Univ. Florida)*
Yuval Dor (Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem)
Carla Greenbaum (Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason)

Rohit Kulkarni (Joslin Diabetes Center)*
Chuan He (Univ. of Chicago)

Klaus Kaestner (Univ. of Pennsylvania)*
Yuval Dor (Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem)
Ali Naji (Univ. of Pennsylvania)

* Denotes Contact PI

New HPAP Consortium – October 2016

A fifth consortium, Human Pancreas Analysis Program (HPAP), has been added to HIRN.  These two awards were made in response to a NIH NIDDK initiative (RFA-DK-15-027). The primary goal of HPAP is to accumulate, analyze, and distribute high value T1D datasets to the diabetes research community.  

Three New HIRN CBDS Awards – Oct 2015

Three new projects have been added to the CBDS porfolio. These three awards were made in response to the second HIRN/CBDS initiative (RFA-DK-14-021) that supports the development of medium- to high-throughput “omics” technologies that can be used to explore human pancreatic tissues with single cell- or near single cell- resolution. The three new teams/projects are: “Single Cell Resolution Omics Analysis of T1D islets”, “Single-Cell Analyses of Human Islets in T1D Using Highly Multiplexed Imaging“, and “High-Resolution Analysis of Juvenile Human Pancreas Maturation”.

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