«Diet can alter the gut microbiota and shift its production of metabolites, which affect systemic immune function. In Nature Immunology, Marino et al. (2017) demonstrate protection from Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice by feeding diets that promote gut microbiota-dependent generation of the [short-chain fatty acids] SCFA acetate and butyrate. They identify mechanisms by which acetate leads to decreased infiltration of self-antigen- specific cytotoxic T cells and butyrate improves regulatory T cell number and function, collectively contributing to reduced destruction of insulin-producing b-cells in the pancreas.«
This quote is how Sydney Lavoie and Wendy S. Garrett, from The Chan School of Public Health at Harvard, and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, summarized in Cell Metabolism, the work lead by Venezuelan scientist, Eliana Mariño and colleagues, at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. We at CientMed, the electronic journal of the National Academy of Medicine of Venezuela, celebrate the work of this young investigator, that describes herself, as “…passionate about science and for helping others, with a career path toward the work on microbiome and diet in diabetes.”
Dr. Eliana Mariño, born in Caracas, Venezuela, started her undergraduate studies at Simon Bolivar University. In her first years of university studies, she joined the Plant Physiology Laboratory of Prof Marisol Castrillo, to later on work at the Plant Biotechnology Laboratory of Prof Maria Angelica Santana at the Institute of Advanced Studies, IDEA. Dr. Mariño developed her Honours thesis at the Laboratory of Biotechnology of Prof Rafael Rangel- Aldao at the Technology Center of Empresas Polar, and completed her BSc studies with first class in 1998. She began her research career under the guidance of Prof Jose Cardier at the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research (IVIC), and published two papers as first-author about the role of IL-18 on endothelial cell apoptosis under pro-inflammatory conditions in Dengue Fever. In 2004 she moved to Australia, where she was awarded the NHMRC-Dora Lush Biomedical Postgraduate Research Scholarship.