Dr. Peter Thompson wins Allen Rouse Basic Science Career Development Research Award


Dr. Peter Thompson was awarded for his project, “Exploring origins and treatments for sick beta cells in type 1 diabetes” Dr. Thompson is Assistant Professor in the Physiology & Pathophysiology, Endocrine & Metabolic Diseases division at the University of Manitoba. He is also Principal Investigator in the Childhood Diseases Foundation at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba.

While most research on type 1 diabetes focuses on how to restore the immune system, Dr. Thompson’s team has found that sick beta cells can accelerate formation of the disease. While the reason is unknown, the team’s animal model studies suggest that drug therapies that target sick beta cells can slow the development of type 1 diabetes. Sick beta cells also accumulate during the development of type 1 diabetes in children and young adults, but we currently do not have a way to translate drug therapy from animal models to humans.

In this project, Dr. Thompson’s team will investigate how healthy beta cells become sick during type 1 diabetes and identify new drug targets for sick beta cells in human tissue samples. Taken together, these studies will move us closer towards therapies that will improve beta cell health in people with type 1 diabetes and prevent type 1 diabetes by targeting sick beta cells.