John Todd is a medical geneticist who researches the causes and prevention of autoimmune diseases, where the immune system attacks the body’s own tissues. John is best known for developing new theoretical and experimental approaches, and he was the first to detail the genetic basis of type 1 diabetes.
His research has shown that the presence of several genes can increase the risk of developing diabetes. These genes are linked to blood cells called regulatory T cells, which usually help to stop the destruction of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. John’s work led to the suggestion that boosting the action of the T cells could help to prevent or treat diabetes, and this approach is currently the focus of clinical trials.