Today’s guest blog is written by Richard A. Insel, M.D., JDRF's Chief Scientific Officer, where he has the responsibility of the strategic direction and oversight of all JDRF research projects. Dr. Insel has had a distinguished medical and research career in pediatric immunology. He held various leadership positions at the University of Rochester Medical Center and was the founding director of the Center for Human Genetics and Molecular Pediatric Disease and a member of the departments of pediatrics and microbiology & immunology.
National Diabetes Awareness Month is a special time of year for the millions of people living with the disease and those of us working to improve their lives and cure this disease through research. As the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D), JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners in both the public and private sector who share our research goals. This past summer, we participated in the “Research by Consortia for Faster Cures” Capitol Hill briefing where biomedical leaders from foundations, industry, government, and academia gathered for one afternoon to discuss how collaborative consortia are accelerating biomedical progress.
JDRF has a long history supporting basic research and the development of novel T1D therapies, so we know that it requires multiple sectors and organizations to come together and share resources and ideas to advance our common goals. We have seen that research guided by one investigator in one laboratory is often not enough. Research consortia are addressing the most urgent biomedical needs and accelerating the timeframe for the development and delivery of new therapies for T1D. We believe research consortia are now an essential part of the process for creating a world without T1D and we are focused on creating and leading these collaborative efforts.
We have already created, convened, and are proactively managing over 10 different T1D-focused research consortia including consortia in the areas of artificial pancreas, encapsulation, and the microbiome to accelerate research in these areas. In addition, we participate in many other consortia in the US and abroad to accelerate T1D research, including consortia created with funding from the Special Diabetes Program which represents one-third of all federal research on T1D through the National Institutes of Health.
The complex challenges of T1D make consortia an essential part of the research process and we are excited to help create and lead these efforts. National Diabetes Awareness Month is a great time for everyone involved in T1D research and development to strengthen our collaborative efforts as we continue our search for new therapies and a cure for this disease.