Finally, a press release that is unquestionably post-worthy: on Friday, the legendary Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston announced that it's received a million-dollar grant to support type 1 diabetes research.
The money comes from a wealthy patient with his own philanthropic organization: the Thomas J. Beatson, Jr. Foundation. Beatson lives in Phoenix, AZ, and is also a Joslin Medalist for living with type 1 diabetes for 50 or more years. He's given funds to the Center before, but what's interesting about this time is the four-pronged research approach:
This time, Beatson asked four leading investigators — T. Keith Blackwell, M.D., Ph.D.; George L. King, M.D.; Gordon C. Weir, M.D., and Howard A. Wolpert, M.D. — to present him with compelling research proposals.
"Inspired by all four, he decided to help fund each... Each lab will receive $250,000 over two years."
So the money is going to cutting-edge research in four different directions:
Dr. Blackwell - research on deriving new beta cells for transplantation (focus on focuses on how the developmental potential of stem cells might be harnessed to provide regenerative therapies for diabetes)
Dr. King - research into why Joslin Gold Medalists fare so well (they've developed a hypothesis that "it may be possible to improve metabolic regulation by inducing the proliferation of a patient's own pancreatic cells in people who have lived with diabetes for more than 15 years" - !)
Dr. Weir - research on sources of insulin-producing islet cells and ways to protect transplanted cells from being destroyed by autoimmunity or transplant rejection.
Dr. Wolpert - developing software to analyze continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) data to make it more useful and powerful: pattern recognition algorithms; identifying problem areas, such as recurrent hypoglycemia, hyperglycemic events and post-meal patterns that point to a need for therapy adjustments; and determining if the alarms of CGM devices are set optimally to detect frequent out-of-target glucose measurements.
Wow, again! I love how these topics split evenly into 2 addressing research toward a CURE, and 2 taking on TREATMENT in the here and now.
Read all the details at Joslin's website. Happy New Year, indeed!