Publish Date: 
Friday, September 8, 2017 - 08:45

JDRF Article - Future Research Leaders

Hailing from New Zealand, Dr Hamilton-Williams honed her skills at research facilities in Germany and San Diego. In 2011, she returned to Australia, where she had earlier completed her postgraduate studies. She is now a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute (UQDI).

Emma, tell us about your research in the field of type 1 diabetes?

My research is centred around two main themes – immunotherapy and the gut microbiome. In the immunotherapy space we are trying to develop a treatment using nanoparticles to prevent the destruction of insulin producing beta cells. These nanoparticles, contain an anti-inflammatory drug and part of one of the islet-derived protein targets of the autoimmune cells. They will be placed in mice to block the inflammatory response which leads to type 1 diabetes. We hope this will be a specific way of inactivating only the disease-causing cells and leaving the rest of the immune system functioning normally to prevent destruction of the insulin producing cells, and halt the disease progression.

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