Diabetes Program




The Diabetes Program focuses on unresolved issues in type 1 diabetes (T1D), type 2 diabetes (T2D) and metabolic syndrome. Advances in understanding the defective immunological processes underlying T1D and in implementing treatments to prevent or cure this disease have been too slow in coming. A major impediment to more rapid progress has been that the location and organization of the pancreas prevent us from readily observing diabetes initiate, unfold and reverse. Consequently, T1D is not diagnosed until very late in the disease process, when most of the causal events have already played out and viable options for intervention are much more limited. Recent advances in the field of cellular and molecular imaging (both for beta cells and immune cells) offer great hope for overcoming these stumbling blocks. The program brings together scientists from multiple communities within MGH and Harvard. Collectively, the projects described below undertake a variety of systems-level analyses, including systematic mapping of genetic/functional interactions, functional genomics, and in vivo imaging.

Beta cells

  • Novel probes for measuring Beta-cell mass
  • In vivo imaging of type-1 diabetes (T1D)


  • T-cell biology in T1D
  • Nanoparticle-based in vivo imaging of pancreatic islet inflammation, including human clinical trials

Therapeutic interventions

Recent Publications (more...)

Mohan JF, Kohler RH, Hill JA, Weissleder R, Mathis D, Benoist C
Imaging the emergence and natural progression of spontaneous autoimmune diabetes.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017;114(37):E7776-E7785 - PMID: 28839093 - PMCID: PMC5604023 - DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1707381114

Recent News (more...)

2012-04-13: "Magnetic Nanoparticles Predict Diabetes Onset" - HMS Focus highlights describes developed at CSB a magnetic nanoparticle-based MRI technique for predicting whether and when subjects with a genetic predisposition for diabetes will develop the disease. (pdf)