Jennifer Dwyer, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Associate

Elucidating the molecular mechanisms that underlie autoimmunity in Type 1 diabetes 
Type 1 diabetes is the autoimmune-mediated destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic Beta-cells that leads to lifelong insulin therapy.  Using the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse model which succumbs to type 1 diabetes at a young age, the Serreze lab has identified Nuclear Factor kappa B inhibitor Delta (Nfkbid) as a modulator of disease incidence. Nfkbid-deficient mice demonstrate an accelerated disease onset, despite improved thymic negative selection of autoreactive T cells that is associated with decreases in regulatory T cell populations.  My research is focused on understanding molecular mechanisms by which Nfkbid influences regulatory T cell populations in an effort to ultimately develop therapies to halt the autoimmune destruction seen in Type 1 diabetes.