Dr Herold is Professor of Immunobiology and Internal Medicine at Yale University.His work has spanned a number of aspects of the pathogenesis of autoimmune diabetes including the immune mechanisms and the effects of autoimmunity on beta cells, with studies in preclinical and with clinical samples.He is a member of the Immune Tolerance Network Steering Committee and the principal investigator of the Yale Trial Net Center.His research is supported by grants from federal agencies and private foundations, including the National Institutes of Health, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the American Diabetes Association, Inc., among other organizations.His lab is identifying the immune cells responsible for attacking the pancreatic islets, as well as studying how beta cells respond to these attacks.His investigative work has focused on developing new ways to prevent and treat autoimmune diseases, using novel translational immunologic and metabolic approaches to prevent progression, in particular anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody therapy.
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The cells that produce insulin in the pancreas are called beta cells and in type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease, they are destroyed by the immune system, according to a press release. But the researchers found that some beta cells survive the immune system's attack, the release said. "During the development of diabetes, there are changes in beta cells so you end up with two populations of beta cells," said Dr. Kevan Herold, professor of immunobiology at Yale and senior author of the study, in the release. He said the ability of some beta cells to survive was because of a "duck and cover" strategy, according to the release.
A breakthrough drug delays the onset of type one diabetes by allowing the body to continue producing insulin, a major study has shown. Researchers led by Yale University conducted their trial on 76 people, mostly aged between eight and 18, all of whom were considered at high risk because they had family members already diagnosed with the condition. They found treatment with teplizumab - an immunotherapy which dampens down a specific part of the immune system - led to a delay in onset of type one diabetes by an average of two years. Study leader Professor Kevan Herold, who presented the results yesterday at the American Diabetes Association meeting in San Francisco, said: 'As anyone with type one diabetes will tell you, and particularly for children who are most commonly affected, every day you can delay this disease is important.' Type one diabetes stops the body producing its own insulin, meaning there is no way to regulate sugar in the blood.