Welcome to the Czyzyk Lab
Our research is focused on Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) - an autoimmune disease characterized by inflammatory destruction of small clusters of insulin producing cells called the islets of Langerhans. We study how both normal function of the islets and their inflammation are regulated by islet sensing signals that are generated in the surrounding exocrine tissue - a process, which we believe is regulated by proteases. Although proteases, and the immune response to protease inhibitors, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune inflammation, studies in our laboratory suggest that an immune response to the serpin B13 protease inhibitor and the consequent increase in protease activity is unique in that it is protective during the diabetogenic destruction of pancreatic islets. Ultimately, we propose that development of protocols to enhance protease activity that is regulated by serpin B13 may be beneficial to diabetes by both suppressing islet inflammation and promoting regeneration of insulin-producing cells that is independent of autoimmunity.