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Jon D. Piganelli, PhD

Professor of Medicine

MS 2016
Indianapolis, IN
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Jon D. Piganelli, Ph.D., graduated from Colorado State University with a bachelor's degree in microbiology (B.S., 1988). Dr. Stephen Kaattari, Ph.D., Department of Microbiology, Oregon State University, oversaw his graduate work in immunology, vaccine design, and commercial aquaculture microparticle vaccine delivery systems. He received his Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology in 1994. Dr. Piganelli then completed postdoctoral training with Kathryn Haskins, Ph.D. at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes and the Department of Immunology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. He is an expert in cellular immunology, specifically T cell-mediated beta cell destruction, as well as the role of free radical signaling in the immune system and how these signals synergize the innate and adaptive immune systems. Dr. Piganelli was recruited to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Department of Immunogenetics in 2001 as an assistant professor, because of his expertise in autoimmunity/immunology and type 1 diabetes animal models. Dr. Piganelli oversaw a thriving and well-funded research program at the University for 22 years, focusing on immunology, biochemistry, metabolism, oxidative stress, and free radical formation, as well as how they contribute to secondary inflammation. His primary area of research is autoimmunity, specifically the immune-mediated pathophysiology of type 1 diabetes, as well as the design and implementation of therapeutic strategies to slow the progression of type 1 diabetes. During this time, Dr. Piganelli trained and taught postdoctoral fellows, medical fellows, and graduate students. Dr. Piganelli joined the faculty of Indiana University School of Medicine as a Professor in 2023, where he will continue his research on T cell mediated pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes.

His experimental knowledge is broad. His research is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and he has mentored a total of (35) trainees, including postdocs (9), graduate students (8), national and international students, and undergraduate students (21).

Titles & Appointments

  • Professor of Medicine
  • Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Education
    1999 Postdoctoral Training Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
    1994 PhD Oregon State University
    1988 BS Colorado State University
  • Research
    1. Preventing Type 1 Diabetes by Targeting Redox-Dependent T Cell Activation and Metabolism in the Autoimmune Response.
    2. Reducing Self-Reactive T Cell Recognition by Modulating Islet ER Stress.
    3. Development and characterization of new biomarkers prior to autoantibody production for early detection of type 1 diabetes progression in first degree relatives and at-risk individuals.
    4. Using endogenous beta cell regeneration in tandem with immune deviation to restore and protect newly derived endogenous beta cell mass.

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