Dedicated to understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of diabetes-accelerated cardiovascular disease.
The Bornfeldt laboratory is dedicated to understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of diabetes-accelerated cardiovascular disease, so that these complications can be effectively treated or prevented.
People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes have a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease (myocardial infarction, stroke, and peripheral cardiovascular disease, which can with time lead to the necessity to amputate limbs) caused in large part by atherosclerosis. These complications can also develop earlier in life than in people without diabetes. Risk factors for cardiovascular disease associated with diabetes include sub-optimal metabolic control, increased inflammation, and lipid abnormalities, such as increased levels of triglycerides and changed levels of HDL (“the good cholesterol”).
We also study blood samples from human subjects with diabetes to identify new biomarkers and mechanisms for cardiovascular disease risk in combination with mechanistic mouse models to identify new targets for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular complications of diabetes.
Our work is, or has been, funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and Novo Nordisk A/S.
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Current Laboratory Members
Karin Bornfeldt, PhD
Principal Investigator, Professor of Medicine and PathologyMy career has been devoted to the discovery of cellular and molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular complications associated with diabetes. After completing my PhD on the effects of insulin and insulin-like growth factor 1 in vascular cells in Sweden, I was offered a position as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Russell Ross. During this time, I also interacted closely with Dr. Edwin Krebs, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1992, in studying signal transduction pathways in vascular cells. Work in my laboratory led to the development of a transgenic mouse model of type 1 diabetes-accelerated atherosclerosis, in which T cell-mediated destruction of the beta-cell can be induced at will by viral infection. By using this model, my group has shown that diabetes accelerates initiation of atherosclerotic lesions by stimulating macrophage accumulation within the vascular wall (Renard et al. J Clin Invest. 2004) and lesion intraplaque hemorrhage (Johansson et al. PNAS. 2008). More recently, my laboratory has been interested in the role of fatty acid-derived acyl-CoAs in atherosclerosis and inflammation (Kanter et al. PNAS. 2012), the effects of glucose in vascular cells (Nishizawa et al. Cell Rep. 2014; Wall et al. JCI Insight. 2018), and the effects of diabetes on triglycerides and HDL. I have had 23 pre- and postdoc trainees in my laboratory so far, and I am heavily involved in their training and future careers. I also frequently participate in minority student teaching. My administrative duties include serving as Associate Director for Research of the UW Medicine Diabetes Institute and as Deputy Director of the Diabetes Research Center (DRC) at the University of Washington for which I also direct a core facility (the Vector and Transgenic Mouse Core), serving as PI on a Program Project Grant and as Co-Director on a T32 training grant in Nutrition, Obesity and Atherosclerosis, chairing a large number of review panels, organizing scientific meetings, and organizing a weekly research training conference. For specific examples of the types of projects we work on, please see the descriptions of student research below.
Farah Kramer, BS
Research Scientist II, Lab Manager
Research Interests: Developing and maintaining mouse models of diabetes-accelerated atherosclerosis (Bornfeldt et al. Am J Pathol. 2018).
Shelley Barnhart, BS
Research Scientist II
Research Interests: The role of the enzyme acyl-CoA synthetase 1 in myeloid cells in diabetes and other autoinflammatory diseases, and analysis of atherosclerotic lesion morphology (Basu et al. Circ Res. 2018).
Jenny Kanter, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Research Interests: Effects of diabetes and insulin resistance on monocytes and macrophages in mouse models of diabetes-accelerated atherosclerosis, and mechanisms of diabetes-accelerated atherosclerosis (Kanter et al. 2018)
Brian Van Yserloo, BS
Research Scientist II
Research Interests: Research Scientist Research Interests: CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing in cells and mice (Shimizu-Albergine et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2016).
Masami Shimizu-Albergine, PhD
Research ScientistResearch Interests: Cholesterol sensing through SCAP (Shimizu-Albergine et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2016) and effects of triglyceride-lowering on atherosclerosis in the presence of diabetes.
Tomohiro Nishizawa, PhD
Visiting Scientist from Daiichi-Sankyo Co., Japan
Research Interests: Effects of glucose in myeloid cells and atherosclerosis. Recent publications: Nishizawa & Bornfeldt 2012; Nishizawa et al. 2014
Valerie Wall, BS
Graduate Student (Pathology Graduate Program
Research Interests: Acyl-CoA thioesterases in macrophage biology and atherosclerosis, glucose effects in smooth muscle cells.
UW Medicine Diabetes Institute
750 Republican Street, Box 358062
Seattle, WA 98109
Karin Bornfeldt: (206) 543-1681
Lab Main Line: (206) 616-3551
Fax: (206) 543-3567
To inquire about Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Openings click on: firstname.lastname@example.org