Joshua Centor, a PhD student in pathology, was recently awarded a predoctoral fellowship by the PhRMA Foundation for work related to Type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is an incurable autoimmune disease involving destruction of pancreatic beta cells by autoreactive T cells and compromised immunosuppression by T regulatory (Treg) cells. The high blood sugar associated with T1D causes an increase in sugar-modified proteins and leads to the immune system attacking itself, which is called autoimmunity.
Centor has helped design a drug to specifically bind to a particular sugar-modified protein to help mitigate these side effects. Completion of this study has the potential to yield drugs with the ability to block the function of modified proteins and control progress of autoimmunity.
The PhRMA Foundation awards predoctoral students studying drug discovery $50,000 over a two-year period.