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Last Name

Chaoxing Yang PhD

TitleAssistant Professor
InstitutionUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
DepartmentProgram in Molecular Medicine
AddressUniversity of Massachusetts Medical School
368 Plantation Street, AS7-2046
Worcester MA 01605
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    Other Positions
    InstitutionUMMS - School of Medicine
    DepartmentProgram in Molecular Medicine

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    University of Leuven, Leuven, , BelgiumMAArts
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, United StatesPHDPhilosophy

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    • Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium - BS & MS 
    • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York - Ph.D


    Our long-term research goal is to develop a non-invasive screening system to identify children at risk for type I diabetes as early as possible.

    Type 1 diabetes (T1D), typically diagnosed in young children.  Besides daily hardships associated with the disease, diabetic children also have a much higher lifetime risk for many dangerous complications and premature mortality. Despite decades of research, T1D cannot be prevented. Indeed, clinicians cannot accurately identify individuals at risk for the disease prior to the onset of autoimmunity because no robust early screening biomarkers have been identified. While epidemiologic and clinical evidence suggest that virus exposure might induce the process leading to T1D, interventional studies to look at virus infection in humans are not feasible.

    Our research interests are 1) Identify and validate early stage, T1D-specific biomarkers using a combination of advanced molecular biology techniques and the latest imaging technology; 2) Create a non-invasive screening system for early T1D risk assessment in humans, and evaluate the feasibility of both screening and diagnostic methodologies. 

    Our objectives are based on our data from our rat diabetes model that helps overcome some of the identified knowledge gaps since diabetes can be virally induced in that model with quite precise disease onset kinetics following induction. Especially, our rat model and published human T1D data indicate this model is highly relevant to human disease. We will identify circulating blood biomarker candidates using this animal model and these markers will be vigorously validated using multiple techniques to assess their specificity, sensitivity, and reproducibility for autoimmune diabetes. Promising animal biomarkers will be then be assessed using human samples to identify human T1D biomarkers which can be used for future early T1D risk screening. Using the latest imaging technology, we have also observed pancreatic changes in this rat model following induction, and we will evaluate the technique as a non-invasive risk diagnostic method for clinical use in children and young adults with recent onset T1D. 

    The rapidly increasing T1D incidence emphasizes the urgency to test our novel discoveries for their practical use. Our project was designed to facilitate translation of animal data and methodologies to the clinic as rapidly and directly as possible. The animal model is used not only to solve a scientific problem, but also to optimize methods and eliminate practical problems that may occur in the clinic. Every element of our novel methodology (including the biomarker sample type, the sample collection method, the sample analysis method, and the risk diagnostic tool) is specially designed to be non- or minimally-invasive, child- and parent-friendly, convenient, fast, safe, and economical. We will collaborate with UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence and UMass Memorial Children’s Hospital for the clinical studies.


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    Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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    1. Bortell R, Yang C. The BB rat as a model of human type 1 diabetes. Methods Mol Biol. 2012; 933:31-44. PMID: 22893399.
      View in: PubMed
    2. Diiorio P, Jurczyk A, Yang C, Racki WJ, Brehm MA, Atkinson MA, Powers AC, Shultz LD, Greiner DL, Bortell R. Hyperglycemia-induced proliferation of adult human beta cells engrafted into spontaneously diabetic immunodeficient NOD-Rag1null IL2r?null Ins2Akita mice. Pancreas. 2011 Oct; 40(7):1147-9. PMID: 21926555.
      View in: PubMed
    3. Kruger AJ, Yang C, Tam SW, Hinerfeld D, Evans JE, Green KM, Leszyk J, Yang K, Guberski DL, Mordes JP, Greiner DL, Rossini AA, Bortell R. Haptoglobin as an early serum biomarker of virus-induced autoimmune type 1 diabetes in biobreeding diabetes resistant and LEW1.WR1 rats. Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2010 Nov; 235(11):1328-37. PMID: 20975081.
      View in: PubMed
    4. Jurczyk A, Roy N, Bajwa R, Gut P, Lipson K, Yang C, Covassin L, Racki WJ, Rossini AA, Phillips N, Stainier DY, Greiner DL, Brehm MA, Bortell R, diIorio P. Dynamic glucoregulation and mammalian-like responses to metabolic and developmental disruption in zebrafish. Gen Comp Endocrinol. 2011 Jan 15; 170(2):334-45. PMID: 20965191.
      View in: PubMed
    5. Yang C, Kaplan CN, Thatcher ML, Swank DM. The influence of myosin converter and relay domains on cross-bridge kinetics of Drosophila indirect flight muscle. Biophys J. 2010 Sep 8; 99(5):1546-55. PMID: 20816067.
      View in: PubMed
    6. Kruger AJ, Yang C, Lipson KL, Pino SC, Leif JH, Hogan CM, Whalen BJ, Guberski DL, Lee Y, Unger RH, Greiner DL, Rossini AA, Bortell R. Leptin treatment confers clinical benefit at multiple stages of virally induced type 1 diabetes in BB rats. Autoimmunity. 2011 Mar; 44(2):137-48. PMID: 20695765.
      View in: PubMed
    7. Royer PJ, Emara M, Yang C, Al-Ghouleh A, Tighe P, Jones N, Sewell HF, Shakib F, Martinez-Pomares L, Ghaemmaghami AM. The mannose receptor mediates the uptake of diverse native allergens by dendritic cells and determines allergen-induced T cell polarization through modulation of IDO activity. J Immunol. 2010 Aug 1; 185(3):1522-31. PMID: 20610655.
      View in: PubMed
    8. Brehm MA, Bortell R, Diiorio P, Leif J, Laning J, Cuthbert A, Yang C, Herlihy M, Burzenski L, Gott B, Foreman O, Powers AC, Greiner DL, Shultz LD. Human immune system development and rejection of human islet allografts in spontaneously diabetic NOD-Rag1null IL2rgammanull Ins2Akita mice. Diabetes. 2010 Sep; 59(9):2265-70. PMID: 20570944.
      View in: PubMed
    9. Eldred CC, Simeonov DR, Koppes RA, Yang C, Corr DT, Swank DM. The mechanical properties of Drosophila jump muscle expressing wild-type and embryonic Myosin isoforms. Biophys J. 2010 Apr 7; 98(7):1218-26. PMID: 20371321.
      View in: PubMed
    10. Brehm MA, Cuthbert A, Yang C, Miller DM, DiIorio P, Laning J, Burzenski L, Gott B, Foreman O, Kavirayani A, Herlihy M, Rossini AA, Shultz LD, Greiner DL. Parameters for establishing humanized mouse models to study human immunity: analysis of human hematopoietic stem cell engraftment in three immunodeficient strains of mice bearing the IL2rgamma(null) mutation. Clin Immunol. 2010 Apr; 135(1):84-98. PMID: 20096637.
      View in: PubMed
    11. Pino SC, O'Sullivan-Murphy B, Lidstone EA, Yang C, Lipson KL, Jurczyk A, diIorio P, Brehm MA, Mordes JP, Greiner DL, Rossini AA, Bortell R. CHOP mediates endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced apoptosis in Gimap5-deficient T cells. PLoS One. 2009; 4(5):e5468. PMID: 19424493.
      View in: PubMed
    12. Yang C, Ramanath S, Kronert WA, Bernstein SI, Maughan DW, Swank DM. Alternative versions of the myosin relay domain differentially respond to load to influence Drosophila muscle kinetics. Biophys J. 2008 Dec; 95(11):5228-37. PMID: 18805920.
      View in: PubMed
    13. Yang C, Salerno JC, Koretz JF. NH2-terminal stabilization of small heat shock protein structure: a comparison of two NH2-terminal deletion mutants of alphaA-crystallin. Mol Vis. 2005; 11:641-7. PMID: 16145541.
      View in: PubMed
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