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Dr. Jay Skyler Receives Prestigious Honor and Delivers George Eisenbarth Memorial Lecture at nPOD

In February, the 16th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPOD) commenced with groundbreaking discussions and a memorable tribute to a pioneer in type 1 diabetes (T1D) research.

Highlighting the first day’s sessions was the George Eisenbarth Memorial Lecture, delivered by esteemed Diabetes Research Institute – University of Miami researcher, Dr. Jay Skyler.

Dr. Skyler, a veteran in the field, captivated attendees with a presentation that traced four decades of T1D research, culminating in a powerful advocacy for combination therapies to combat the disease.

In his lecture, Dr. Skyler paid homage to the late Dr. George Eisenbarth, whose research laid the groundwork for understanding the progression of T1D, notably through his concept of “Type 1A Diabetes.” Dr. Eisenbarth’s model has significantly influenced current strategies for staging and potentially preventing the disease. “George is always in my heart,” Dr. Skyler remarked, underscoring the lasting impact of Dr. Eisenbarth’s contributions on his work and the T1D community at large.

Dr. Skyler’s talk highlighted the success and challenges in the field of T1D prevention and treatment. He specifically pointed out the efficacy of Tzield (teplizumab) in reducing disease progression risk and emphasized the potential of newer antigen-specific therapies. Such innovative approaches aim to halt immune-mediated damage and preserve beta-cell function, a vision shared by both Dr. Eisenbarth and Dr. Skyler in their foundational work on the Diabetes Prevention Trial of Type 1 Diabetes (DPT-1).

Further, Dr. Skyler explored various strategies targeting the immune system’s different components, including innate, adaptive, and regulatory immunity. His vision for an “aggressive” combination strategy reflects a comprehensive approach to preserving beta-cell health by integrating interventions across the immune response spectrum, alongside promoting agents like GLP-1RAs for beta-cell health.

The lecture concluded with Dr. Skyler receiving a trophy in recognition of his contributions. This moment served as a poignant reminder of the collaborative spirit and dedication within the T1D research community to continue the work of pioneers like Dr. Eisenbarth.

As the nPOD meeting continues, attendees remain eager to explore multi-faceted strategies that might transform the landscape of T1D management and prevention. Dr. Skyler’s optimistic outlook and the innovative research presented at the conference underscore a shared commitment to advancing the care and treatment of T1D, promising a future where combination therapies might significantly impact those living with the disease.

About nPOD: The Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPOD) is a collaborative research project aimed at investigating the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. By facilitating access to pancreatic tissues from organ donors with T1D, nPOD supports research efforts to understand the disease better and develop effective therapies.

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