BIOE: “Multi-Scale Systems Characterization of Disease Pathology: The Immunometabolic Connection in Type 2 Diabetes”

Speaker Elizabeth A. Proctor, Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Lauffenburger Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Date: 11/16/2017
Time: 12 p.m. - 1 p.m.

1000 Micro & Nanotechnology Lab, 208 N Wright St, Urbana, IL

Event Contact: Lisa Leininger

Department of Bioengineering

Event Type: Seminar/Symposium

“Multi-Scale Systems Characterization of Disease Pathology: The Immunometabolic Connection in Type 2 Diabetes”



Pathological phenomena at scales from the molecular to the organismal level converge to result in disease, but most studies focus on a single phenomenon in isolation from those occurring in parallel or on different scales. The tools of systems biology can be used to unite these phenomena into a holistic picture of biological function in order to better understand and correct pathology and engineer biological systems, especially in complex diseases. In type 2 diabetes, both metabolic and immune dysfunction are well-established trademarks of disease, but the relation and interplay of pathology in these two systems is under-explored. To understand the link between metabolic changes and inflammation in type 2 diabetes, we monitored metabolic pathways and inflammatory signaling in ex vivo cellular systems under varied fuel availability. We uncovered flaws in immune cell metabolism in type 2 diabetes that result in production of a known inflammatory signature of disease. Elucidation of mechanisms that link disease processes across scales and systems of the body provides greater context for pathological processes, offering promise for design of effective therapeutic strategies for complex diseases.


About the Speaker:

Elizabeth Proctor is a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT, where she integrates experimental and computational systems biology methods to uncover cellular communication and signaling networks implicated in disease, and to design perturbations to those networks that correct disease phenotype. Prior to her time at MIT, Elizabeth completed her PhD in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she developed methodology for molecular modeling and protein engineering in order to control molecular structure, dynamics, and function in disease-relevant systems. Elizabeth holds bachelor diplomas from Purdue University in Physics and Russian Language and Literature.

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