Translation approaches to Excitability Disorders

A major goal of CIMED is to integrate basic science advances with clinical research and practice. In collaboration with Bess Marshall and Neil White (Pediatrics), and with Ken Polonsky (Medicine), Dr. Nichols is leading efforts to translate the findings from animal models of KATP-induced diabetes (above) to understanding and therapy of neonatal and type 2 diabetes. This effort has already impacted therapy for neonatal diabetics, resulting in transfer of patients from lifetime insulin injections to oral sulfonylurea drugs.

Dr. Nerbonne is leading an effort, in collaboration with Igor Efimov (BME) and I-Wen Wang (Surgery) to facilitate study of electrical properties of diseased and normal human hearts. This is essential to translate animal studies to human relevance, but to date has been nearly impossible due to logistical barriers. Development of a large enough team to ensure efficiency of harvesting and distribution of tissues is an initial goal, as well as development of the infrastructure to carry out the experiments.