Maki Nakayama MD
Dr. Nakayama joined the BDC faculty in 2009. Her research strives to understand the mechanism of initiation of anti-beta cell autoimmunity. She focuses on the tri-molecular complex consisting of antigen, major histocompatibility complex (MHC), and T cell receptor (TCR) that could be a key component for the development of T1D. Her laboratory explores antigen specificity of autoreactive T cells having different functions (i.e. pathogenic vs regulatory T cells) that target pancreatic beta cells; the role of T cells expressing specific TCRs in the development of T1D using an animal model; the potential of TCR sequences to be used as T cell biomarkers to predict the development of type 1 diabetes as well as recurrence of hyperglycemia after clinical therapeutic trials; lastly, exploring the mechanism of transplantation failure in T1D patients. Dr. Nakayama has been part of the JDRF-Helmsley nPOD missions, which is an international network of characterizing pancreata from cadaveric organ donors with T1D.