Welcome to the Michels’ Laboratory! We are located in the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes, part of the University of Colorado. Our research focuses on the immunology of autoimmune diseases, with a particular focus on type 1 diabetes. Basic and translational research studies center on understanding how specific human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles confer diabetes risk and protection. We discovered that small ‘drug-like’ molecules targeted to major histocompatibility (MHC) class II antigen presentation can block self-antigen T cell responses. We translated this therapeutic approach from bench to bedside using methyldopa (Aldomet) to block a diabetes-susceptible MHC class II molecule termed DQ8. Studies are ongoing to understand the mechanism by which dominant protection is afforded by diabetes resistant MHC class II molecules in animal models and humans, including DQ6.
We are currently looking for postdoctoral fellows to join our team. Please send CV to Dr. Aaron Michels at firstname.lastname@example.org.