Jenny Kanter, PhD
- Research Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition
- Home Department Website: https://endocrinology.uw.edu/
Jenny Kanter received her PhD from the University of Washington in Pathology in 2010, with a specific focus on myeloid cells inflammation in the development of diabetes-accelerated atherosclerosis. She did her postdoctoral training at Novo Nordisk A/S in collaboration with Dr. Karin Bornfeldt, PhD, at the University of Washington, studying an insulin peptide mimetic with anti-atherosclerotic properties. She is currently a Research Assistant Professor at UW Medicine Diabetes Institute at the University of Washington.
Diabetes is increasing as a result of increased rates of obesity, and with that complications of diabetes are also on the rise. These include diabetic kidney disease and macrovascular complications such as cardiovascular disease due to underlying atherosclerosis. Dr. Kanter has a long-staining interest in myeloid cells (monocytes and macrophages), and how they get activated under diabetic conditions and their role in acceleration of diabetes-associated complications. The laboratory has recently generated a model to study the combination of diabetic kidney disease and atherosclerosis. This will allow us to ask what molecular mechanisms drive the individual complications but also the interaction between them. One of these mechanisms appear to be augmented inflammatory signals, perhaps driven by diabetic dyslipidemia.
Another project in the laboratory is focused on investigating why diabetic are more likely to have another myocardial infarction after suffering the first one. Using a mouse model of type 1 diabetes and experimental myocardial infarction, preliminary data suggest diabetes and myocardial infarction synergize to accelerated myeloid cell death resulting in acceleration of the underlying disease – atherosclerosis.
How can this research help people with diabetes?
Understanding the molecular mechanisms whereby diabetes results in complications is key in the development of new and targeted therapies.