Tag Archives: amyloidosis

Investigating Diabetes with the SURE Award

28 Sep

This post is written by UHPer and SURE Award winner Mailin Li.

Mailin Li

Mailin Li

Sometimes, I feel like I’m going crazy. There I am, day after day, in a confined, temperature-regulated space with no natural lighting, pipetting clear liquids into clear liquids and hoping something miraculous occurs.

The topic I’m investigating is amyloidosis, the aggregation of the amylin protein in forming the plaques that lead to diabetes. Diabetes is defined as the insufficient secretion of insulin, a glucose regulating hormone, by beta-cells in the pancreas or decreased ability of insulin in regulating blood glucose, that results in glucose buildup in the blood. Amylin is a protein co-expressed and co-secreted with insulin. In the initial stages of diabetes, the body compensates for the perceived insulin shortage by increasing demand; however, because amylin levels are raised in parallel with that of insulin, excess amylin monomers aggregate to form insoluble amyloid plaques, which eventually kill the islet and cause oxidative stress to the surrounding area. This is where I come in.

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