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David A. Alagpulinsa, PhD

Principal Investigator

Dr. Alagpulinsa is a Research Fellow in Medicine at the Massachusetts General Hospital Vaccine and Immunotherapy Center and Harvard Medical School. Dr. Alagpulinsa is a trained pharmacist, pharmacologist and interdisciplinary biomedical scientist.

The primary interest of Dr. Alagpulinsa’s research is to understand the disease- causing mechanisms in type 1 diabetes, a chronic disease that results from autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing beta cells, and to develop therapies to protect endogenous and transplanted beta cells to treat this disease.

Unlike the traditional approach to understanding the cause and treatment of type 1 diabetes that focuses on pathogenic mechanisms within the pancreatic islets and autoreactive immune cells, Dr. Alagpulinsa’s research seeks to understand how alterations in the bone marrow, where immune cells are made throughout life, could influence the development of type 1 diabetes and to harness these insights to delay or reverse type 1 diabetes and its cardiovascular complications.

Dr. Alagpulinsa’s research has been well recognized through multiple publications, media mentions, patents, distinctions and awards, including the MGH Tosteson and Fund for Medical Discovery Fellowship Award, The MGH Physician-Scientist Development Award, to mention but a few. Dr. Alagpulinsa was the MGH nominee for the American Diabetes Association Pathway to Stop Diabetes Award, which supports brilliant scientists on the road to breakthrough discoveries.

Prior Experience

Dr. Alagpulinsa received a fully funded graduate research assistant position to conduct his PhD in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR, USA. His doctoral thesis examined genomic instability in cancer therapy, demonstrating that this mechanism can be exploited to selectively target tumor cells. Thereafter, he spent a year at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, where he continued with research related to his doctoral thesis before joining VIC in 2016.

Academic Credentials

Outside of VIC

Dr. Alagpulinsa is a strong believer that diversity, equity and inclusion are fundamental ingredients to maximizing the human potential. He is an active member of the Harvard Black Postdoctoral Association and volunteers as a Science Fair Judge for predominantly minority/black elementary schools in the Boston neighborhood.