JDRF, an organization funding Type 1 diabetes research, today announced the launch of the JDRF Northern California Center of Excellence.
The new center is aimed to accelerate high-impact research at Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco, to develop cures for Type 1 diabetes.
“We’re excited that the Northern California center is our first Center of Excellence,” said Dr. Aaron J. Kowalski, president, and CEO of JDRF. “The scientists at Stanford and UCSF are leaders driving true innovation as they advance research into the immune system, beta cells, and stem cells.”
The Northern California center will focus on delivering first-generation cures for Type 1 diabetes in areas with the potential for significant breakthroughs.
Researchers will concentrate on the interaction of immune cells with insulin-producing beta cells; generating islets and immune cells from stem cells for next-generation therapies and developing ways to transplant insulin-producing cells into people with Type 1, without requiring immunosuppression.
Transplanting insulin-producing cells into people with Type 1 has been shown to allow some people to become free of the disease.
However, the intervention is not widely available for multiple reasons: insulin-producing cells currently must come from organ donors, so that means there are few available and right now people who receive cell transplants from organ donors must take immune-suppressing drugs for the rest of their lives.
The JDRF Northern California Center of Excellence will seek solutions through continued research in beta cell biology and immunology to make these transplants a widely available intervention for people with Type 1 diabetes.
“We are excited about JDRF’s commitment to creating this Center of Excellence that will allow my colleagues and me to accelerate our efforts towards defining aspects of T1D that can be explored for therapeutic intervention,” said Dr. Matthias Hebrok, director, Diabetes Center at UCSF, and co-lead of the Center of Excellence.
“We are focused on generating new insights into the complex interactions between the immune system and their target, the insulin-producing beta cells that are destroyed in people with T1D, and on translating these findings into creating novel therapies to improve the lives of patients and their families as soon as possible,” Matthias added.
The center brings together experts in the fields of stem cells, Type 1 diabetes immunology, gene editing, transplant immunology, and technology.
Many of the scientists have received JDRF early-career grants that prompted them to make Type 1 research the focus of their life’s work.
“We are identifying paths toward cures — and bringing these scientists together supports the acceleration of advances in crucial areas bridging bench work to clinical care,” said Dr. Seung Kim, director, Stanford Diabetes Research Center, and co-lead of the Center of Excellence. “We are dedicated to scientific discoveries about this disease and changing lives for people with Type 1 diabetes.”
For more information, see the complete press release here.
- JDRF. (2019, September 4). JDRF Launches Northern California Center Of Excellence To Accelerate Breakthroughs To Cure Type 1 Diabetes. PR Newswire. Retrieved September 4, 2019, from https://prnmedia.prnewswire.com/news-releases/jdrf-launches-northern-california-center-of-excellence-to-accelerate-breakthroughs-to-cure-type-1-diabetes-300911807.html