The Campaign was launched at Joslin's 6th Annual High Hopes Gala, held Nov. 19 in Boston. About 600 Joslin supporters were present for the announcement.
"With our combination of groundbreaking research and more than a century of experience caring for and educating people with diabetes, we believe Joslin is the best hope for improving the lives of people with diabetes and ultimately finding a cure," says C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., President of Joslin and the Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. "An investment in the Joslin Campaign fuels a dynamic engine of discovery - for years, Joslin researchers have been making breakthroughs that have improved lives and made direct progress toward a cure."
The announcement comes on the heels of an alarming new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that diabetes now affects 20.8 million people in the United States -- up 14 percent from 2003 alone. The U.S is not alone with the problem; the World Health Organization reports 150 million people worldwide have diabetes, and the number is projected to double by the year 2025. If untreated or poorly treated, diabetes can lead to blindness, kidney disease, stroke, nerve damage and circulation problems that can result in limb amputations.
Kevin Conley, Chairman of Joslin Diabetes Center's Board of Trustees and of The Campaign to Conquer Diabetes in All of its Forms says, "Every day Joslin researchers, clinicians and educators come to work with one goal - to make the lives of people with diabetes less complicated. This campaign will allow Joslin to expand its existing programs in research, care and education--the lifeblood of the institution --and launch cutting-edge initiatives.
"This campaign is personal to me," Conley adds. "Diabetes can and will be beat and Joslin is the institution in the world that is best equipped to do it." The Weston, Mass., resident has two daughters with type 1 diabetes. He is President & CEO of Conley & Company, a Boston-based executive recruitment firm, which donates 25 percent of its net income to diabetes research.
Concentrated Focus on a Single Disease
Funds from the Campaign will support the work of the 300-plus Joslin researchers who are unraveling the biologic, biochemical and genetic processes that underlie the development of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and its devastating complications. "By harnessing the potential of stem cells, finding new sources for insulin-producing islet cells, taming the immune system and understanding the metabolic basis of type 2 diabetes, we will someday be able to predict, prevent and cure diabetes," Kahn says.
The Campaign also supports the work of Joslin Clinic, where clinicians and educators work to provide personalized care and guidance to patients and their families through an integrated system called JoslinCare. "We're committed to stimulating more clinical research through the Center, linking the bench to the bedside and creating a spectrum of investigations focused on new strategies for prevention and treatment," Kahn says.
Because education is the cornerstone of diabetes treatment, the campaign also supports the work of Joslin's educators who incorporate the latest behavioral techniques and innovative delivery methods to improve the ability of people with diabetes to manage their diabetes and reduce the burden on patients and their families. Through Joslin's Affiliated Centers, Disease Management and Continuing Medical Education programs, the Joslin approach is extended and benefits millions of people worldwide.
Ongoing Joslin Programs and Campaign Priorities
Specific programs in type 1 diabetes research to be funded through the Campaign include: genetics, physiology and epidemiology; stem cell biology; immunology and immunogenetics; islet growth, regeneration and transplantation; clinical research; and complications research.
Specific programs in type 2 diabetes research to be funded through the Campaign include: genetics, insulin action and insulin resistance; obesity, nutrition and metabolism; complications of diabetes and the metabolic syndrome; and multicultural health.
Specific programs in clinical care and education to be funded through the Campaign include: The Joslin Center for Childhood Diabetes; The Joslin Center for Advanced Technology; The Joslin Center for Innovation in Diabetes Education; Joslin's Obesity Program; and clinical research in type 2 diabetes and obesity.
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About Joslin Diabetes Center
Joslin Diabetes Center, dedicated to conquering diabetes in all of its forms, is the global leader in diabetes research, care and education. Founded in 1898, Joslin is affiliated with Harvard Medical School. Joslin research is a team of over 300 people at the forefront of discovery aimed at preventing and curing diabetes. Joslin Clinic, affiliated with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, the nationwide network of Joslin Affiliated Programs, and the hundreds of Joslin educational programs offered each year for clinicians, researchers and patients, enable Joslin to develop, implement and share innovations that immeasurably improve the lives of people with diabetes. For more information, call Joslin's Development Office at 1-888-JOSLIN-2 or visit us at www.joslin.org to find out how you can help.