On November 13, 2014, Karin Bornfeldt, PhD will be giving a lecture for the Diabetes Day Symposium titled: Diabetes and Atherosclerosis – Insights Gained From Mouse Models. Bornfeldt’s lecture will be held in Cori Auditorium from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.. Dr. Bornfeldt, Professor of Medicine and Pathology at the University of Washington, is the Associate Director of the Diabetes and Obesity Center of Excellence and the Deputy Director of the Diabetes Research Center.
Dr. Bornfeldt’s career has been devoted to the discovery of cellular and molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular complications associated with diabetes. After completing her Ph.D. on the effects of insulin and insulin-like growth factor 1 in vascular cells in Sweden, she was offered a position as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Russell Ross. During this time, she also interacted closely with Dr. Edwin Krebs, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1992, in studying signal transduction pathways in vascular cells.
In 1977, Dr. Bornfeldt established her laboratory at the University of Washington. The work in her 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, her 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, her 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 macrophages (Nishizawa et al. Cell Reports 2014) and endothelial cells, and the role of S100A9 in insulin resistance and atherosclerosis in mice (Averill et al. Circulation 2011).
Dr. Bornfeldt collaborates with many groups in the U.S. and Europe. She has had 20 pre- and postdoc trainees in her laboratory so far, and she is heavily involved in their training and future careers. She also frequently participates in minority student teaching. Her administrative duties include serving as Associate Director of the Diabetes and Obesity Center of Excellence and as Deputy Director of the Diabetes Research Center (DRC) at the University of Washington for which she also directs a core facility (the Viral Vector and Transgenic Mouse Core), serving as Co-Director on a T32 training grant in Nutrition, Obesity and Atherosclerosis, chairing a large number of review panels, including as a member of the NHLBI Program Project Grant Parent Committee, organizing scientific meetings and organizing a weekly research training conference.