"Every meal is a mathematical formula," said Della Matheson
, another conference speaker.
Matheson, a trial coordinator for the University of Miami Clinical Center for Type 1 diabetes TrialNet, will give an update on diabetes research at the conference.
"The process that leads to Type 1 diabetes we know begins long before the person actually gets the disease," Matheson
emphasizes that Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, making the research on stem cell replacement so critical.
first began researching ways to eradicate Type 1 diabetes, she
team would be able to identify the key risk factors and correct them, preventing the disease.
But the process became more daunting than she
"For every little onion skin you peel back with answering one question, it leads to another.
The immune system is extremely complex," Matheson
"It's important for people to understand the research is going on, how collaborative it is, how many people are working on it, and really how far we've come."
One recent advancement, Matheson
explained, came when scientists discovered the liver was not the best site to implant beta cells, the cells that produce insulin.
Instead, they began implanting them in the fatty layer of the patients' abdomen, which is less potentially dangerous.
said having Type 1 diabetes makes her
sensitive to how solutions and cures are reported in the media.
was diagnosed nearly 35 years ago, doctors told her
there would be a cure in 10 years.
"We're launching into a new era of looking at the issue in a more complex way to stop the autoimmune process," Matheson