New research program to focus on human beta cell regeneration and its potential role to cure type-1 diabetes

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) have announced a new program today called the Regeneration of Beta Cell Function (RBCF) to focus on human beta cell regeneration and its potential role to cure type-1 diabetes.
 
JDRF’s vision for the program is to develop novel strategies that restore lasting glucose regulation in patients with type-1 diabetes by activating functional beta cell regeneration in the absence of cell transplantation. JDRF proposes to develop a deliverable intervention, or cure therapeutic, that restores human beta cell function while simultaneously controlling the ongoing immune response to regenerated beta cells.
 
Mohammad (Mo) Heidaran, Ph.D., previously Director of the Biotherapy Program at Becton Dickinson, today joined JDRF as Research Program Director. Dr. Heidaran will be responsible for the $10 million, 2-year initiative that will consist of highly integrated, inter-institutional teams working closely with JDRF.

“Dr. Heidaran’s new role and the development of the RBCF is part of JDRF’s ongoing goal to restore pancreatic beta cell function by initially improving islet transplantation, by expanding donor islets for transplantation, and ultimately bypassing the need to transplant by activating host or endogenous regeneration of beta cells,” said Richard A. Insel, M.D., Executive Vice President of Research at JDRF.

JDRF (www.jdrf.org) was founded in 1970 by the parents of children with juvenile diabetes – a disease that strikes children suddenly, makes them insulin dependent for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications.  Since inception, JDRF has provided more than $680 million to diabetes research worldwide.  More than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and education about research.  JDRF’s mission is constant:  to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research.

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