Dr. Kevan Herold was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a college student in 1974. His background and research are in translational immunology, striving to understand the basis for autoimmune diseases and developing new therapies based on disease mechanisms. His focus is in the field of autoimmune type 1 diabetes. The work encompasses understanding the regulation of autoreactive T cells to clinical trials that involve novel therapeutics. In other words, what are the targets of the cells that cause diabetes and identifying pathways involved that can be targeted for therapies.
His goal is not only to develop immune therapy to treat type 1 diabetes but potentially to use the data for prevention. “There are antigen-reactive T cells that are found in individuals at risk for type 1 diabetes,” said Herold. “Some of those individuals go on to develop diabetes; others don’t. What we want to do is figure out who is going to go on to develop diabetes in order to prevent it.” If he identifies a marker that differentiates between patient types, for example, that finding could point to a target for preventive strategies.