New York, NY, October 1, 2012 - JDRF, the world's leader in setting the agenda of type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, is preparing to join researchers from around the globe this week at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), being held in Berlin from October 1 through October 5.
JDRF, which currently provides more than $100 million annually for research in as many as 18 different countries, is a key funder of more than 30 studies being presented during the three-day event. The research covers topics including new tools for studying and treating T1D, prevention of the disease, and protecting and regenerating the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.
"We're looking forward to joining leaders in diabetes research at this year's EASD," says JDRF's chief scientific officer, Dr. Richard Insel, who will be in attendance at the meetings. "The JDRF-funded studies being presented show the breadth of our work across the spectrum of type 1 diabetes research as we seek to cure, better treat, and prevent this disease."
Highlights of this year's conference will include:
- Beta cell imaging - Two studies, performed by teams in Denmark and Sweden, looked at techniques for visualizing the insulin-producing beta cells still in the body. Such capabilities, if perfected, would enable scientists to see and better understand how the cells are affected by the autoimmune response, contributing to efforts to halt their destruction and promote cell regeneration. The studies were led by researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden and The Bartholin Institute in Copenhagen.
- Immune therapies - Researchers representing multiple academic institutions will present their latest data on different therapeutic attempts to preserve the function of beta cells in people who have been recently diagnosed with T1D. Each of the three studies utilized different therapeutic agents, including the anti-CD3 agent teplizumab, developed by Macrogenics and tested by a team led by Dr. Kevan Herold of Yale University.
- Biomarkers - A team of JDRF-funded researchers from the Institute of Bioinformatics and Systems Biology in Munich, led by Dr. Gabi Kastenmuller, will present findings looking at metabolic signatures associated with autoantibodies in an attempt to determine whether the presence of the signatures could indicate an elevated risk for T1D. Accurate biomarkers would enable scientists to more precisely target patients for clinical trials as well as measure any potential therapeutic benefits.
In addition to the research presentations and two workshops being led by JDRF researchers, the organization will be announcing a partnership the with the Danish Diabetes Academy, a new program to develop the diabetes research infrastructure in Denmark that is supported by the Novo Nordisk Foundation.
JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents, and adults with this disease, JDRF is now the largest charitable supporter of T1D research.
The goal of JDRF research is to improve the lives of all people affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners who share this goal.
Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.6 billion to diabetes research. Past JDRF efforts have helped to significantly advance the care of people with this disease, and have expanded the critical scientific understanding of T1D. JDRF will not rest until T1D is fully conquered. More than 80 percent of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and research-related education.
For more information, please visit www.jdrf.org.