Using the JAK1/JAK2 Inhibitor Baricitinib to treat new-onset Type 1 diabetes

Research Opportunity
PhD, Masters by Research, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Master Places Available
1
Department
Medicine and Radiology
Location
St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Helen Thomas hthomas@svi.edu.au +61 3 9231 3282
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof Tom Kay tkay@svi.edu.au

Summary The goal of this project is to investigate whether the JAK inhibitor baricitinib dampens autoimmunity and preserves beta cell function in human type 1 diabetes.

Project Details

Our goal is to prevent the immune-mediated destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells that leads to type 1 diabetes. The JAK-STAT signalling pathway is critical for immune-mediated pancreatic beta cell destruction. We have shown that inhibitors of JAK1/JAK2 prevent diabetes and also reverse newly diagnosed diabetes in the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse model of type 1 diabetes. The goal of this project is to investigate whether the JAK inhibitor baricitinib dampens autoimmunity and preserves beta cell function in human type 1 diabetes.

We plan to conduct a placebo-controlled trial to investigate the safety and efficacy of baricitinib in 83 individuals aged 12-30 years with recent-onset type 1 diabetes. The primary objective is to determine if baricitinib can reduce the loss of meal-stimulated C-peptide, a measure of beta-cell function. As exploratory objectives, we plan to evaluate the impact of baricitinib on type 1 diabetes-associated immune responses. To achieve this, we will use two complementary approaches, single-cell proteomics and single-cell transcriptomics. We hypothesise that baricitinib will induce intra-individual and inter-individual changes in immune cells. Single-cell RNA-seq will capture the biological pathways altered by baricitinib while mass cytometry will be used to capture the phenotypical and functional differences between cells.


School Research Themes

Cardiometabolic



Research Opportunities

PhD, Masters by Research, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department

Medicine and Radiology

Research Node

St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research

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