The mysterious onset of type 1 diabetes may have to do with what’s in your genes. Studies of twins show that if one twin has type 1 diabetes, the other has a 50 to 80 percent likelihood to also get the disease. 

In the past 5 years, new technology that screens the whole genetic code allowed researchers to uncover at least 50 diabetes-associated genes. Interestingly, many of those genes also relate to other autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis or celiac disease.

Stephan Kissler, Ph.D., Assistant Investigator in the Section on Immunobiology at Joslin Diabetes Center, studies those genes associated with multiple diseases using some of the newest lab techniques available.