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

Emerging Opportunities in Type 1 Diabetes Research

With the recent extension of the SDP for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 at $150 million per year, the NIDDK embarked on a planning process to identify new and emerging opportunities in type 1 diabetes and its complications. Members of the federal Diabetes Mellitus Interagency Coordinating Committee (DMICC) were invited to submit research proposals for the renewed funding. At a 2-day meeting in April 2015, representatives from the NIH and CDC presented over 40 proposals to a panel of 21 scientific experts and a public representative. The panel was asked to provide input to NIDDK leadership on the proposals, including whether each proposal represented the best use of the funds. Ongoing projects, such as those described here, were presented in addition to novel programs. Panel members were also encouraged to identify gaps in existing programs and to suggest potential new areas of research interest. This meeting provided critical input to the NIDDK and is valuable to the planning process for the SDP. The panel members were enthusiastic about many programs and research consortia currently supported by the SDP and strongly endorsed future plans to continue and expand ongoing efforts. For example, research to develop and test new or improved closed-loop technologies should incorporate behavioral research and address the needs of specific populations such as adolescents and older adults. The panel encouraged the development of new strategies to prevent or reverse complications, including studies of neurocognitive function in type 1 diabetes. Because people with type 1 diabetes are now living longer and healthier lives as a result of research, there is also a need to study the disease across the life span. This valuable input, as well as that received at other scientific meetings, assisted the NIDDK in its planning efforts to make the best use of the additional funds. The resulting active and anticipated Funding Opportunity Announcements for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 are detailed in Table 1 and Table 2, respectively. A meeting summary will be posted on the SDP website (www.t1diabetes.nih.gov). With the significant progress that has been achieved in type 1 diabetes research, there is an abundance of scientific opportunities that can be pursued, and more are expected in the coming years.