Type 2 diabetes (T2D) affects more than 463 million people worldwide and is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality across the globe.
An intact pancreatic islet treated with interferon alpha and gamma, and stained for HLA-1 (yellow), proinsulin (magenta), nuclei (cyan).
Diabetes and its complications represent one of the most serious challenges to public health in the 21st century. With its concomitant life-threatening complications of cardiovascular disease, renal failure, blindness, and peripheral vascular disease, T2D can undermine the global economy, with a disproportionate burden on underprivileged groups and emerging nations.
The T2D epidemic is occurring as a result of deleterious changes in our environment, diet, and lifestyle, which take place against a background of genetic predisposition. Many large-scale, genome-wide investigations have sought to identify the genetic roots of T2D. Broad researchers study genes associated with the disease to uncover their molecular functions, their roles in relevant cell models, and their impacts on both mouse and human physiology. At the Broad, a community of scientists known as the Diabetes Research Group is dedicated to studying diabetes, with five major research aims: genetic discovery, functional validation, physiological characterization, clinical translation, and therapeutic discovery.
The overarching goal of these efforts is to determine the genetic underpinnings of this disease and translate that knowledge into clinical and therapeutic interventions. Members of the Diabetes Research Group are dedicated to pursuing this new area of genetics research with the aim of contributing to improved medical care for those with, or at risk of developing, type 2 diabetes.