Molecular Mimicry and Diabetes Control
Mason Freeman, MD
Affiliation: Massachusetts General Hospital
Title: Chief, Lipid Metabolism Unit
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Harvard Catalyst Profile:
Dr. Freeman conducts preclinical and first-in-human studies on new therapeutics for type 2 diabetes that mimic the effects of specific genetic variations on blood sugar levels.
What are the challenges in treating type 2 diabetes today?
Current diabetes medications are lowering blood sugars, but they aren't fundamentally attacking the major problem, which in most Americans who have type II diabetes is that they gained too much weight and can't lose it.
Why are you doing this kind of research?
For the first twenty years of my career, I worked on mostly cholesterol metabolism, which is in many ways related to diabetes. But I realized after twenty years that as exciting and rewarding as that work was, and it was, I wasn't actually producing therapies.
What insights do you have for investigators interested in T1 research?
Many people view the T1 process as making the original discovery and then actually moving that discovery into the clinic yourself. People need to understand that it's going to be the rare, rare exception where that occurs.