Jin-Xiong She, Ph.D
Jin-Xiong She is a lead researcher in a massive international study (TEDDY) following thousands of children to see if they develop type 1 diabetes. The study aims to uncover why the disease develops in some susceptible children but not in others.
The children in the project, which began in 2006, are all genetically predisposed to type 1 diabetes. By monitoring them over a 15-year period, She and his colleagues seek to pinpoint which environmental factors trigger the disease’s development.
She also is investigating the telltale signs of cancer and autoimmune diseases. This investigation into novel biomarkers and drugs involves high-throughput screening, an automated process that uses robotics and specially developed software to accelerate testing of genetic material and drug candidates. The high-throughput technology mastered in the lab became the foundation for Jinfiniti Biosciences LLC, a start-up company that provides the rapid screening to biomedical research institutions and pharmaceutical companies.
- High-throughput drug screening. High-throughput / high-content screening seeks to identify drug candidates by screening large libraries of drug-like chemical compounds. Drug candidates are further developed for clinical use and studies of disease mechanism. Current efforts target cancer, transplant rejection, inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
- Cancer biomarkers. High-throughput genetic, proteomic and metabolomics tools have enabled She’s group to identify a number of biomarkers for the early detection and diagnosis of various cancers. The research team is now working on clinical tests for these biomarkers.
- Mouse genetics. Using mouse models of various human conditions, this program seeks to identify genes and proteins responsible for various diseases including type 1 diabetes and cancer. Congenic, transgenic and knockout technologies, combined with high-throughput gene expression arrays and proteomics tools, are used to dissect the contribution of various genes to the complex disease phenotypes.
- Human genetics. Researchers use various genetic mapping tools and functional studies in an effort to understand the genetic basis of human complex diseases including type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune diseases.
- Functional genomics. High-throughput genomic technologies are used to investigate the normal function of the immune system, as well as its malfunction in autoimmune diseases. These tools are also applied to human patient populations to identify biomarkers for various human diseases including type 1 diabetes, diabetic complications and cancer.
- Proteomics. This program is developing various proteomic tools for the identification and quantification of complex proteomes. Proteomic platforms include Luminex beads, 2D PAGE, 3D proteomics using 2D HPLC and various mass spectrometry techniques (LTQ, MALDI-TOF/TOF and SELDI). These techniques are used to understand the cellular functions of various systems as well as biomarker discovery for human diseases (clinical proteomics).
- TEDDY: The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young. She’s lab is a clinical center of the TEDDY international consortium, which aims to identify the environmental triggers for type 1 diabetes in genetically susceptible individuals. The lab purifies large numbers of RNA and DNA samples collected by the TEDDY study.
- PANDA: Prediction and prevention of type 1 diabetes. She leads PANDA – Prospective Assessment in Newborns of Diabetes Autoimmunity – a screening program established in 1997. Genetic markers help researchers identify high-risk babies, who are then monitored at regular intervals. The data is used to investigate the immunopathogenesis of type 1 diabetes using a variety of approaches, including genetics, genomics, proteomics and cellular immunology tools. High-risk subjects also may be enrolled in clinical trials aimed at preventing diabetes or its complications.
GRA recruited She from the University of Florida in 2002 with the promise that Georgia would create a Center for Biotechnology and Genomic Medicine, with She as its director. He arrived with a research team and several million dollars in federal grants and contracts.