Dr. Alberto Pugliese
Alberto Pugliese, M.D., is a Professor of Medicine, Immunology and Microbiology, and Head of the Immunogenetics Program at the Diabetes Research Institute.
Since joining the DRI in 1994, Dr. Pugliese’s research has focused on the causes, prevention and cure of type 1 diabetes.
His work examines the role of genetic and immunological factors that lead to, or protect against, the development of type 1 diabetes. His studies have lead to improved understanding of genetic and cellular mechanisms that regulate immunological self-tolerance (acceptance) specifically to molecules targeted in diabetes. Lack or impaired self-tolerance can result in autoimmunity and diseases like type 1 diabetes. Insulin is a critical target of the autoimmune responses that cause type 1 diabetes. Dr. Pugliese’s discovery that insulin is produced in the thymus (unrelated to blood sugar control) has highlighted a previously unknown mechanism for self-tolerance. In related studies, he identified a subset of dendritic (immune system) cells that also express insulin that have the potential for novel, cell-based therapies aimed at restoring self-tolerance in patients with diabetes.
In addition, Dr. Pugliese has also been studying the impact of islet autoimmunity on the survival on pancreatic grafts, since recurrent autoimmunity is an important reason for loss of graft function. In an ongoing clinical research study, he is monitoring recurrence of autoimmunity in transplanted patients and has made observations of ß-cell regeneration in the context of recurrent autoimmune diabetes in the transplanted pancreas.
Dr. Pugliese is a member of the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet (www.diabetestrialnet.org), a consortium that aims assessing prevention and intervention strategies in patients at increased risk of type 1 diabetes as well as those who are newly diagnosed. Dr. Pugliese also serves as co-director of the JDRFnPOD (www.JDRFnPOD.org), a collaborative project that focuses on the procurement of tissues from patients and the distribution to investigators worldwide to support a comprehensive understanding of the human disease.
Dr. Pugliese has served on research grant review committees of the National Institutes of Health, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and chaired the American Diabetes Association’s Grant Review Panel.
Dr. Pugliese’s research has been published in major international journals including Nature Genetics, Nature Immunology, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Lancet, among other prestigious, peer-reviewed journals.
Listen to Diabetes Living Today® interview with Dr. Alberto Pugliese
January 25, 2011 ~ Dr. Alberto Pugliese celebrates Diabetes Living Today® 200th. Broadcast