Dr. Edward Phelps, assistant professor in the J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, was selected by the Network of Pancreatic Donors with Diabetes (nPOD) as the 2018 recipient of its Young Investigator Award.
The award is presented annually to an early-career investigator who has made outstanding research contributions to the field of type 1 diabetes.
Phelps made recent discoveries using nPOD human pancreas samples to show how cell stress leads to pathological alterations in the trafficking and release of beta cell antigens that might contribute to the triggering of autoimmune responses in type 1 diabetes. Phelps’ research also focuses on biomaterials engineering as a strategy for regenerative therapies with an emphasis in the area of type 1 diabetes. Phelps specializes in bio-synthetic cellular microenvironments (e.g., bio-functionalized polyethylene-glycol hydrogel) for controlled presentation of bioactive signals to drive regenerative responses in vivo. He has developed biomaterials for therapeutic angiogenesis and to improve the viability and function of transplanted insulin-producing pancreatic islets. Phelps is working to develop novel immunomodulatory biomaterials strategies to counter autoimmunity in type 1 diabetes.
The nPOD program, supported by Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) at the University of Florida, is the world’s largest open research consortium dedicated to the study of the human pancreas.
Congratulations, Dr. Phelps!