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Sally Kent recognized for collaborative research at diabetes conference

UMass Medical School Communications

March 10, 2016
  Sally C. Kent, PhD
 

Sally C. Kent, PhD

Sally C. Kent, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, was recently recognized at the Network for Pancreatic Donors with Diabetes (nPOD) 8th Annual Scientific Session in Miami as a “champion of the collaborative spirit.” Dr. Kent was presented with the Spirit of nPOD award for her work with the members of and projects within nPOD.

At the Diabetes Center of Excellence, Kent researches the autoimmune process, specifically in people with type 1 diabetes. In particular, she is interested in the T cell responses to autoimmunity. Kent collaborates with nPOD, as she seeks to understand the functions of the islet-infiltrating T cells (the ones most likely to have a direct role in the beta cell destruction) in order to learn the exact molecular mechanisms of their tissue destruction. These studies will guide researchers in the design of therapies for those at-risk for and those with type 1 diabetes.

In 2007, Kent became one of the first investigators associated with nPOD. The network, sponsored by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and now also The Helmsley Charitable Trust, is dedicated to collecting and providing tissue, including isolated islets, to investigators. Within this consortium, investigators are organized into working groups, in order to maximize the information they derive from the tissues. Kent leads one of the working groups, interacts with investigators from all over the world and participates in a pilot study of islets isolated from donors with type 1 diabetes.

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