August 2021
The HIRN 2021 Annual Investigator Meeting will be held virtually
Tuesday, September 21 – Thursday, September 23, 2021
from 12:00 – 5:00 pm Eastern.
Contact us for registration details
Please join us in welcoming the 3 recipients of the HIRN “Gateway Investigators". This funding opportunity was designed to provide support and protected time for senior postdoctoral fellows seeking to pursue studies that will enhance their transition toward independent research careers. 
Hirotake Komatsu, PhD
City of Hope
Consortium: CHIB
Baoyu Liu, PhD
University of Utah
Consortium: CMAI
Joao Pedro Saar Werneck de Castro, PhD
University of Miami
Consortium: HPAC
Click HERE to learn more about all of HIRN New Investigators and their recent accomplishments.
The next HIRN webinar “Introduction to the HIRN Human Pancreas Analysis Program (HPAP): Real World Examples of Successful Data Analyses" will be on Thursday September 9th at 2:00 pm Eastern (11:00 am Pacific). The webinar will provide an introduction to the Human Pancreas Analysis Program (HPAP), the Pancreas Database (“PancDB”) and highlight two recent publications utilizing data from the PancDB. All are welcome to join but registration is required.
 In recent research, two HIRN groups have made notable findings on the theme of
beta cell transdifferentiation and dedifferentiation. The work led by Shuibing Chen’s lab (CBDS) showed that primary beta cells infected with SARS-CoV-2 upregulated alpha cell and acinar cell markers, suggesting transdifferentiation to these other cell types. Their trajectory analysis implicated the eIF2 pathway as the one regulating this transdifferentiation. They next pursued a potentially therapeutic compound that could counter the process, and to this purpose devised a shrewd drug screen parameterized by the proportional reduction of polyhormonal cells. This proved effective, yielding a small molecule called trans-ISRIB that could block beta cell transdifferentiation upon SARS-CoV-2 infection in subsequent in vitro experiments.
           The second study, led by Emily Sims’ group (CBDS), has helped elucidate the role of miR-21 in beta cell dedifferentiation. In addition to their in vitro approaches, they established that miR-21 effects dedifferentiation in vivo using two different model organisms: Tg(hs:CS-βmir-21) zebrafish and Tg(βmir-21) mice, both of which can be manipulated to overexpress miR-21 specifically in beta cells. When assayed after miR-21 induction, both models show a resultant dedifferentiated beta cell phenotype, e.g. hyperglycemia, increased polyhormal cells, and reduced beta cell identity markers. The investigators were also able to characterize miR-21’s mechanistic action through the pathway involving Tgfb2 and Smad2.
           These highlighted efforts provide topical insights and contribute to someday resolving an undesirable beta cell phenomenon. Moreover, they have created several resources that could continue to be valuable for this fascinating subject.

Resources: scRNA-seq dataset of SARS-CoV-2 infected human islets xxxxxxxxxx(GSE159556), zebrafish model, mouse model
Note: We are working on cataloguing small molecules
About Research Highlight
This is a section of the Monthly Newsletter for HIREC to help disseminate research and/or resources. Let us know if you would like to be featured. 
The Human Pancreas Analysis Program (HPAP) has implemented the Research Resource Identifiers (RRID) system to tag all their donors in addition to “HPAP IDs” already in use. The program, whose primary goal is to perform deep phenotyping of the human pancreas, now has over 400 registered users on PANC-DB (the public database and user interface). It has become increasingly important to be able to track all studies utilizing HPAP donors. This would give users an opportunity to cite their source at a granular level, allowing them to cite not only the database, but the donors themselves. By employing RRID for their donors, HPAP is now joining hands with the Integrated Islet Distribution Program (IIDP) and network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with diabetes (nPOD), who already utilize the RRID to tag their BioSamples.

RRID is based on public information that is not personally identifiable unlike the UNOS number. This makes it a unique identifier for referencing a source for research. As part of this process, HPAP is now registered with NCBI’s BioProject database. The “SAMN” number generated in this database for each BioSample is utilized to generate the RRID, changing the syntax to “RRID:SAMNXXXXXXXX”. For instance, the RRID for “HPAP-070 is RRID:SAMN19842599. Users on PANC-DB will be directed to the resource identification portal, where they can search for our donors using the HPAP-ID or the SAMN number and obtain the required RRID and relevant information for citation.

PANC-DB will soon be publishing the RRIDs along with more information in the next few weeks. Visit PANC-DB and keep an eye out for updates on this in the upcoming HIRN newsletters. 
dkNET is partnering with the(sugar)science to create innovative events and tools for scientists and researchers! We are launching the dkNET academy this summer. Learn about the upcoming events including D-Challenge, Bootcamps, Off the Record, Clubhouse events, Intern diaries, dkNET paper of the week, and Lunch and Learn! More information HERE
The D-Challenge
Is the answer to Type 1 diabetes already out there? Can you find it? The D-Challenge is a bioinformatics challenge focused on Type 1 diabetes. Enter as a team or an individual to compete for cash awards! Registration deadline: September 1, 2021. Learn more HERE
dkNet BootCamp
dkNET is creating a hub for big data and hypothesis generation, bringing together a collection of online tools that will allow researchers to explore different datasets and utilize analytics and visualization tools. Through detailed tutorials and integration of these different resources, the dkNET Hypothesis Center will enable researchers to explore questions of immediate relevance to their research.
What You Will Learn
  • How to use dkNET Hypothesis Center
  • How to access additional tutorials to enhance your understanding of data, bioinformatics, and application
Join us for a Live, Interactive Webinar on September 10, 2021 at 11:00 am PDT. Register HERE
The Immunology of Diabetes Society (IDS) Congress will be a virtual meeting on November 1-4, 2021. At the Congress, scientists will present the latest research related to the immunology of type 1 diabetes and discuss rapidly evolving topics. The meeting will allow interaction with scientific colleagues and have mechanisms for trainees to present their work. Abstract deadline has been extended to September 20th and Registration due October 20th. Learn more HERE.
Diabetes Research Centers Virtual Seminar Series 
To address the disruption in seminars & scientific interactions at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, nine NIDDK-sponsored Diabetes Research Centers (DRCs) and three Centers for Diabetes Translational Research (CDTRs) established a weekly Virtual Seminar series. The series has been well-received and will continue. Anyone can register for the seminars, which are free and open to the public (registration required). 

Dr. Peter Turnbaugh from University of California, San Francisco, Dr. Ruth Ley from Cornell University will be presenting on September 8, 2021 at 1:00 pm CST. “Diabetes and the Gut Microbiota.”
The NIH National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) has recently posted three funding opportunities. A pre-application community webinar will be held on September 10th – learn more HERE 
RFA-HG-21-029 - Molecular Phenotypes of Null Alleles in Cells (MorPhiC) Phase 1: Data Production Research and Development Centers (UM1 Clinical trials not allowed)
  •  Application due date: November 1, 2021

RFA-HG-21-030 - Molecular Phenotypes of Null Alleles in Cells (MorPhiC) Phase 1: Data Analysis and Validation Centers (U01 Clinical trials not allowed)
  •  Application due date: November 1, 2021

RFA-HG-21-031 - Molecular Phenotypes of Null Alleles in Cells (MorPhiC) Phase 1: Data Resource and Administrative Coordinating Center (U24 Clinical trials not allowed)
  • Application due date: November 1, 2021
RFA-DK-21-006: Development of New Technologies and Bioengineering Solutions for the Advancement of Cell Replacement Therapies for Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) (R01 Clinical Trial Optional)
  • Application due date: October 20, 2021

RFA-DK-21-016: Characterization of Islet-derived Extracellular Vesicles for Improved Detection, Monitoring, Classification, and Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes (R01 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • Application due date: November 3, 2021

RFA-DK-21-017: High-Resolution Exploration of the Human Islet Tissue Environment [HIRN Human Pancreas Analysis Consortium (HPAC)] (U01 - Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • Application due date: March 3, 2022

F31 PAR-19-378: Bioinformatics Interdisciplinary Predoctoral Fellowship in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases 
  • Application due date:  Standard dates apply 
  • Foreign applications allowed

F32 PAR-19-379: Bioinformatics Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Fellowship in Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases 
  • Application due date:  Standard dates apply 
  • Foreign applications allowed

PAR-20-140: Catalytic Tool and Technology Development in Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases (R21 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)
  • Application due date:  Standard dates apply
  • Foreign applications are allowed
Below is a summary of the most recent job postings by category (Faculty, Research Staff/Admin, Postdoc). Visit the HIRN Website for a full listing for job opportunities.
The American Diabetes Association is seeking a Vice President of Research & Science to join our Science & Health Care Team. Reporting to the Chief Science and Medical Officer, the Vice President will be responsible for management of the ADA’s research portfolio and the execution of the annual ADA Scientific Sessions. This leader will be expected to have diabetes content mastery and research experience. It is required that this individual possess a strong science background, have grant experience, meeting management skills, strong knowledge of budget management and fiscal responsibility, possess strong organization skills, and have an innovative mindset. This leader will need to proactively identify content area needs and budgetary matters and communicate them effectively with the Chief Medical & Science Officer or the VP of Operations. Please visit the site HERE.
JDRF has a Director position that requires the skills, vision, and desire to explore and implement novel approaches that will accelerate research and development leading to curative and preventive therapies for T1D. The successful candidate can look forward to interesting and challenging work by building strong relationships with fellow staff and a network of volunteers that will have a meaningful impact on the lives of everyone affected by T1D. The ideal applicant will have a strong background in immunology, pharmacology, cell biology or endocrinology in the context of diabetes, autoimmune or metabolic diseases, and have demonstrated capabilities in translating discoveries into therapeutic concepts or products. Please visit the site HERE.
Program Director for Integrative Physiology of Human Diabetes
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is hiring a Program Director for Integrative Physiology of Human Diabetes. A scientist with strong managerial, communications and interpersonal skills, and experience in integrative physiology relevant to diabetes, is sought for the position of Program Director for Integrative Physiology in the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases (DDEMD) in the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), at the National Institutes of Health. Research to be managed by the Director of DDEMD’s Integrative Physiology program is supported through multiple mechanisms, including regular research grants and cooperative agreements. Activities to be pursued include planning, establishing, and overseeing a wide range of goal-directed initiatives to expedite and enhance translational, pre-clinical and clinical research in diabetes. Apply HERE.
Program Director for Diabetes Behavioral Science
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) is seeking a clinical behavioral scientist to serve as Program Director for Diabetes Behavioral Science. The Program Director will play an active role in stimulating new research and managing ongoing grant portfolios focused on understanding the interaction between behavioral, psychological, and biological factors to inform development of more effective and targeted interventions to prevent and treat diabetes. 
Program Director for Health Equity in Diabetes
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) is seeking an individual with Health Equity Research experience to lead a program in addressing health disparities in diabetes and related diseases in the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases (DDEMD). The DDEMD supports and provides leadership for research on the causes, prevention and treatment of diabetes and its complications, as well as other endocrine and metabolic diseases. The successful applicant will serve as Program Director for Health Equity in diabetes, including implementation research. Apply Here
Program Officials
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases is hiring program officials with expertise in translational research in any of the following four topic areas as they specifically relate to key questions in diabetes, endocrine or metabolic diseases:
·      Integrative physiology of human diabetes, including physiology of counter-regulatory responses to hypoglycemia, mechanisms involved in regulation of peripheral metabolism, autonomic nervous system regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism, and basic and clinical studies investigating effects of bariatric surgery on diabetes and diabetes-related outcomes;
·      Neuroscience of human behavior and behavior change, including brain and peripheral systems that impact the onset, severity or resolution of diabetes or obesity pathophysiology; 
·      Immune regulation and inflammation, including innate and adaptive immune mechanisms influencing peripheral insulin resistance in animal models and humans;
·      Precision medicine in diabetes and obesity.
The mission of the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases is to support broad-based research programs focused on both basic and clinical research in the areas of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases. Apply Here
Job Opportunity with HIRN:
Research Associate II - Content Research Analyst
The Beckman Research Institute at City of Hope has an opportunity for a Research Associate II, under the direction of Dr. Kaddis. The candidate in this position will work directly with diabetes scientists around the world, to advance and promote the Human Islet Research Network (HIRN). Using related databases and content curation strategies, this individual will gather and generate required information needed to register, annotate, and publicize scientific resources in project registry systems. The applicant will be part of a multi-disciplinary team responsible for developing, managing, checking, and sharing the metadata needed to describe a scientific resource, such as biomedical datasets, biological reagents, documents (e.g. protocols), and/or technologies (e.g. assays).  

The candidate will develop content using literature curation methodologies, biological ontologies, controlled vocabularies, and databases, but often requires direct interaction with and feedback from submitting laboratories, i.e. scientists. Metadata completeness and correctness is of primary importance; the applicant will organize and oversee existing registry data, as well as perform reviews of new or modified metadata submissions. Telework is an option. Please send your CV, cover letter, and contact information with 3 references to Dr. John Kaddis.
Research Technician
A new Stem Cell and Genome Editing Core Facility situated within the Kieffer Research Group has an opportunity for a highly motivated and collaborative technician to support diverse regenerative medicine research initiatives. The candidate will assist with the day to-day operation of the Core, will generate human induced pluripotent cells (iPSCs), and will culture and differentiate human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and iPSCs down pancreatic lineages. Please send your CV, cover letter, and contact information with 3 references to Dr. Tim Kieffer.
Research Scientist
The University of Chicago beta cell/diabetes research group under the direction of Dr. Raghu Mirmira has funded openings for several postdoctoral research scientists with interest in applying/learning cell biological techniques (immunoprecipitation, immunohistochemistry, confocal imaging), mouse genetic skills, human islet biology, and immunology and inflammation research. NIH-funded research projects in the Mirmira laboratory include the study of beta cell development and function, human islet gene regulation and mRNA translation, and islet cytokine signaling in the context of type 1 diabetes.  Please send your CV, cover letter, and contact information with 3 references to Dr. Mirmira.
Postdoctoral Position
Benaroya Research Institute’s Center for Interventional Immunology seeking outstanding clinical investigator for faculty position as well as post-doctorate candidates or research fellows interested in clinical/translational research in type 1 diabetes and/or autoimmunity. Please send your CV, cover letter, and contact information with 3 references to
Postdoctoral Position
The MacDonald Lab at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada is looking to fill two postdoctoral positions within one or more of the following areas: cell physiology, single-cell biology, cell imaging, electrophysiology, and computational biology. The positions will be held within the Department of Pharmacology and the Alberta Diabetes Institute (ADI), Canada’s largest stand-alone diabetes research centre. Successful candidates will have access to extensive resources for research through the MacDonald Lab, the ADI, and the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry. This includes core facilities for molecular biology and biochemistry, sequencing and single-cell work, live-cell imaging, animal services, and more. Please send your CV, cover letter, and contact information with 3 references to Dr. Patrick McDonald.
Postdoctoral Associate
The laboratory of Dr. Jeffrey Millman in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Lipid Research at Washington University School of Medicine is searching for a postdoctoral associates to lead several new research projects in the lab. The objective of the Millman Lab is to generate and study stem cell-derived beta cells for use in diabetic disease modeling and cell therapy. The candidate must have a PhD in cell biology, biomedical engineering, or related fields and has demonstrated quality publication of their work. Please send your CV, cover letter, and contact information with 3 references to Dr. Jeffrey Millman.
Postdoctoral Position
Two Post-Doctoral Fellowship positions in the Kulkarni Lab at Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School. The two positions are available immediately for a period of 3 years each. For the first position, applications are invited from qualified individuals with a PhD or MD or MD PhD degrees and interested in working in exciting projects focused on defining pathways and identifying mechanisms that regulate pancreatic (endocrine and exocrine) biology and interrogating inter-organ cross talk in the overall maintenance of glucose homeostasis using induced pluripotent stem cells and animal models. Topics include insulin/IGF-1 signaling, mRNA modifications and stem cell biology. Candidates should have a strong background in molecular biology, cell biology (stem cells) and biochemistry. It is strongly preferable to have prior experience in bioinformatics and the ability to interrogate “omics” and sequencing datasets. Candidates should possess skills in handling human islets and undertake in vivo animal studies. It would be an advantage to be able to undertake rodent islet isolation, and perform immunostaining. For the second position candidates with expertise in Bioinformatics will be especially relevant. Prospective candidates should have expertise in handling large ‘omics’ databases and be willing to work closely with other Fellows in the lab to assist in analyses of biological data from multiple projects. Candidates will also be encouraged to develop their own research interests. Applicants for both positions should provide a brief statement of research interests, CV, and the names of three references to
Postdoctoral Position
The Translational Immunology Columbia Center for Translational Immunology and the Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cell Therapy Program, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY has a Postdoctoral Research Opportunity in the lab of Dr. Megan Sykes. They are inviting highly motivated, creative and experienced individuals with a strong interest in innovative immunology research in transplantation tolerance and autoimmune disease with significant translational potential. Human immune systems from patients and other hematopoietic cell sources will be developed and analyzed in human immune system mouse models. These projects evolve from more than 25 years of experience in these models and benefit from a strong infrastructure and expertise within the laboratory. A strong background in immunology and technical experience are required. Must have a PhD and/or MD degree. Applicants should submit a CV, brief description of accomplishments and goals, and contact information of 3 references HERE.
Postdoctoral Position
The Arthur Riggs Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute at City of Hope is looking for a talented postdoctoral fellow. The collaborative laboratories of Drs. John Kaddis and Bart Roep are jointly seeking innovative postdoctoral candidates to conduct in-silico translational research in the field of type 1 diabetes (T1D). This individual will participate in one or more projects that examine the role of molecular, cellular, genetic, and epidemiological variation in T1D. This candidate will have an opportunity to work with specialists in the fields of immunology, diabetes, and data/computer science. Expertize in statistical methods for disease risk prediction and modeling, as well as clinical data, genome sequence, SNP array, “-omics”, and large-scale genetic association analysis is helpful. Experience with public databases/repositories is highly desired.  Necessary skills include those from bioinformatics, computer/data science, mathematics, software engineering, and computational biology. Please send your CV, cover letter, and contact information with 3 references to
Postdoctoral Position
The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI) Diabetes Center has a postdoctoral position available. We are looking for highly motivated researcher to join the IBRI in the lab of Dr. Decio Eizirik. This lab aims to clarify the mechanisms of pancreatic beta cell dysfunction and death in type 1 diabetes mellitus, with focus on endoplasmic reticulum stress, alternative splicing and other mechanisms that may contribute to beta cell death and generation of neoantigens. The selected candidate will participate in a team working with primary human and iPSC-derived islets, animal models of diabetes and human beta cell lines, and advanced molecular biology techniques. Interested applicants should send a letter/statement of interests, CV, and contact information for 2-3 references to Dr. Decio Eizirik.
Postdoctoral Position
A postdoctoral position is available in the group of Dr. Remi Creusot at the Columbia Center for Translational Immunology (CCTI), to participate in research investigating the pathophysiology and therapy of autoimmune diabetes. The research will focus primarily on two NIH-funded projects: one studying the development and function of autoreactive T cells in humanized mouse models and a collaborative project on engineered stromal cells to reestablish immune tolerance. Applicants should send a full CV, a one-page cover letter highlighting research interests and goals, and the name and contact details of 3 references directly to Dr. Remi Creusot.
Postdoctoral Position
A postdoctoral position is available in the laboratory of Dr. Douglas Melton at Harvard University. We seek a creative and highly collaborative PhD scientist with computational skills in single cell RNA-seq and/or ATAC-seq analysis (Trajectory inference, Multimodal analysis, Noise modeling, Entropy analysis). Research projects in the Melton laboratory include the study of human pancreatic islet development and dysfunction in the context of type 1 diabetes, using pluripotent stem cell-derived islets as a human model system. Interested applicants are encouraged to send their CV and names of 3 references to Dr. Ramona Pop.
Postdoctoral Position
Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Fellow at the intersection of Regulatory Genomics and Statistical Genetics in the laboratory of Dr. Steve Parker in the Departments of Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics and Human Genetics at the University of Michigan Medical School. The major goal of the lab is to generate mechanistic knowledge about how disease susceptibility is encoded in the non-coding portion of the genome (from GWAS), with a focus on diabetes and related traits. For more information, please visit the Parker laboratory website.
Postdoctoral Position
The Wagner lab at the Broad Institute is looking for an energetic researcher interested in studying the role of ubiquitination in beta-cell apoptosis. We use techniques in basic biology, chemical biology, high-throughput screening, and many other areas. It’s a great opportunity to learn about cutting-edge technologies while studying an exciting emerging area in beta-cell biology. Candidates should have a strong record of productivity and publication in islet biology or chemical biology. Interested applicants should send a letter, CV, and contact information for 2-4 references to Dr. Bridget Wagner.
Postdoctoral Position
The Montreal Diabetes Research Center at the University of Montreal, has two Postdoctoral positions available at the Rutter laboratory. The laboratory studies pancreatic beta cell biology and its perturbations in type 2 diabetes (Rutter et alDiabetologia, 63(10):1990-1998. doi: 10.1007/s00125-020-05205-5, 2020). The objectives of the two projects are to explore the role and regulation of interactions between beta cells within the pancreatic islet using live cell imaging and optogenetics (Project 1), and to understand how genomic variants associated with type 2 diabetes impact pancreatic beta cell function (Project 2). The successful applicants will hold a PhD or equivalent. Experience in islet biology and/or glucose homeostasis, calcium signaling and image analysis (Project 1) or CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, culture of human-derived beta cells or directed differentiation of embryonic stem cells towards a beta cell fate would be advantageous. Candidates with experience in data analysis using R, MATLAB etc. are particularly welcome to apply. Please send a cover letter and curriculum vitae, including three references, to Dr. Guy Rutter
Postdoctoral Position
The University of California, San Francisco are looking for recent PhD to pursue a career in science and biotechnology around modulation of immune cells to recognize and eliminate senescent cells. Senescent cells accumulate in many age related disease and in autoimmunity by evading immune surveillance. We are developing methods to tune the immune response to selectively eliminate senescent cells in a number of diseases associated with aging.  People trained in my lab pursue careers in academia, biotech, venture funds or consultants for large firms. Some lab members take key technologies from the lab to begin start up companies. Please send cover letter and CV/resume to Dr. Anil Bhushan.  
Postdoctoral Position
The Department of Molecular & Medical Genetics at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon, is seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic post-doctoral fellow to study adeno-associated virus (AAV) and its application for human gene therapy in the lab led by Professor Hiroyuki Nakai, M.D., Ph.D. Specifically, the lab is looking for a post-doctoral researcher who can lead productively several projects including a multi-PI (MPI) NIH project " U01DK123608 (MPIs: Nakai, Grompe and Kay): Gene Therapy for Diabetes, " where we seek to develop clinically relevant novel AAV vectors and methods for in vivo regeneration of insulin-secreting beta cells in rhesus macaques and profoundly understand the mechanisms behind the technologies. The main research focuses of the Nakai lab are: (1) AAV vector biology - capsid assembly, genome packaging, and virus-host interactions in rodents and non-human primates; (2) AAV antigen-antibody interactions; (3) developing novel vectors by engineering of AAV capsids; and (4) preclinical studies of gene therapy for the treatment of various human diseases including type I diabetes. Please send a cover letter and C.V. to Dr. Hiroyuki Nakai.
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