Document Type

Plan B - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biology and Microbiology

First Advisor

Greg Heiberger


Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic autoimmune disease that is characterized by the destruction of pancreatic β-cells and therefore, creating an insulin deficiency within the body. A deficiency of insulin within the body disrupts homeostatic glucose control leading to hyperglycemia and therefore, the need for exogenous insulin. Global incidence of T1D has been increasing for several decades and if current trajectory trends continue, incidence could double in the next year. In addition, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Current therapies for the treatment of T1D include insulin injections, insulin-pump therapy, pancreatic transplant, and islet cell transplantation. However, due to these therapies not being able to replace true pancreatic function, alternative therapies are being researched, particularly cellular therapies. Stem-cell therapies, and more specifically, embryonic and human-induced pluripotent stem cell therapies are being researched and are touted as the most promising therapeutic for T1D patients in the future. However, there are several limitations with cellular therapies that need to be addressed before stem-cell therapy can be a mainstay within clinical therapeutics for T1D.

Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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