The Kanter Laboratory

What are the molecular mechanisms that results in complications of diabetes?

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. In the laboratory we are focused on these two main complications of diabetes, and how they potentially interact. We are especially interested in myeloid cells (monocytes and macrophages), and how they get activated under diabetic conditions and their role in acceleration of diabetes-associated complications, such as kidney disease. 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.

Jenny Kanter, PhD
Jenny Kanter, PhD

I earned my PhD in 2010 from the University of Washington. My PhD work was focused on myeloid cell inflammation in diabetes and how this inflammation affected atherogenesis (PNAS. 2012;109(12):E715-24. PMID:22308341). Following my PhD I did a 2-year postdoc with Novo Nordisk A/S, as part of their STAR program. The project involved an insulin receptor agonist with blood glucose lowering effects with distinct signaling properties compared to insulin. This peptide dramatically reduced atherosclerosis in a model of type 2 diabetes (Diabetes. 2018; 67(5):946-959. PMID: 29483182). Following my post doc with Novo Nordisk, I transitioned into a faculty position as Research Assistant professor at the University of Washington, at the division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition in 2014. My independent work has continued to focus on complications of diabetes such as renal and cardiovascular complications (Am J Pathol. 2018:188(2):343-352. PMID:29154962), and more recently some of my work has been on how myocardial infarction might accelerate atherosclerosis under diabetic conditions.


Contact Us

UW Medicine Diabetes Institute
750 Republican Street, Box 358062
Seattle, WA 98109

Jenny Kanter: (206) 616-6095
Fax: (206) 543-3567

To inquire about Postdoctoral and Graduate Student Openings click on: jenka@uw.edu