Type 1 Diabetes—Reaping the Rewards of a Targeted Research Investment

Judith E. Fradkin; Julie A. Wallace; Beena Akolkar; Griffin P. Rodgers


Diabetes. 2016;65(2):307-313. 

In This Article

Fostering the Next Generation of Researchers

The SDP has also been used to foster training and career development for investigators in type 1 diabetes research. The Type 1 Diabetes Pathfinder Award supported exceptional new investigators who proposed creative new research approaches that have the potential to produce a major impact on important problems in biomedical and behavioral research relevant to type 1 diabetes and its complications. Ten awards were made in 2008 spanning research in basic immunology, diabetes complications, islet encapsulation, cell-based therapy, and molecular approaches to restoring glycemic control in type 1 diabetes. All 10 awardees remain active in diabetes research, with the majority obtaining subsequent NIH grant support as a principal investigator. Similarly successful are the Career Development Programs in Diabetes Research for Pediatric Endocrinologists that support pediatric endocrinologists in their transition to an independent research career. Of the 28 pediatric endocrinologists who have completed the program, 27 remain in academic medicine as of 2014. Recent renewal of the SDP will provide for expansion of these programs.

The progress described above required multidisciplinary collaborations and novel approaches. The SDP funding has been used to attract new and diverse talent to meet specific needs in type 1 diabetes research. For example, the funds have supported opportunities for bioengineers to collaborate with diabetes researchers on projects ranging from the artificial pancreas to islet encapsulation. The SDP is also supporting the training of behavioral scientists and research collaborations to conduct research relevant to improved clinical management and quality of life for people with type 1 diabetes. SDP support has also attracted leading proteomics, metabolomics, microbiome, and biocomputational researchers to apply their expertise to the analysis of the biosamples and data collected in TEDDY.