Where Your Dollars Go

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF is currently funding 50 human clinical trials of potential T1D therapies.

From a transplantable 3D-printed bioartificial pancreas to a potential new treatment for hypoglycemia, JDRF investigators are some of the world’s best and brightest minds in T1D research. 

JDRF funds the most promising/progressive T1D research around the world. These are just a few of the Canadian based innovators…

Dr. James Shapiro  Image

Dr. James Shapiro

Dr. Shapiro, a multi-organ transplant surgeon at the University of Alberta, led the team that introduced the Edmonton Protocol, which optimized the medication given with islet transplants. Currently, he is conducting a phase 1 clinical trial on transplants using a product containing pancreatic progenitor cells (the precursors of stem cells) housed inside a device that protects them from being injured by the immune system. He is also leading clinical trials to switch off autoimmunity and repair injured beta cells at the time of diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. These promising tools could one day enable those with type 1 diabetes to live free of insulin injections if progress continues on course.
Dr. Gregory Korbutt Image

Dr. Gregory Korbutt

Dr. Korbutt, a professor of surgery at the University of Alberta, is using different techniques to safeguard cells with the goal of developing a more accessible source of insulin-producing tissue for transplantation into patients with T1D. He and his team are using their new 3D ‘scaffolding’ technology to make islet transplants more widely available and functional. A scaffold is a polymer (a sheet of repeating molecules) that can be made biologically active, meaning it can be made to have an effect on a living being. Scaffolding technology can help improve blood flow and oxygen to a transplant site, as well as allow incorporation of proteins into the scaffolds that will help keep the cells healthy.
Dr. Jayne Danska Image

Dr. Jayne Danska

Dr. Danska holds The Anne and Max Tanenbaum Chair in Molecular Medicine. She is a professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine and a senior scientist at The Hospital for Sick Children. Her research addresses the idea that the dramatic increase in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases over the past 50 years results in part from changes in our exposure to microbes. She is studying the role of the community of microbes that inhabit the human intestine (the microbiome) in altering risk for and the progression of T1D. The ultimate objective of her work is to identify new therapeutics to prevent T1D.
Dr. Joseph Cafazzo Image

Dr. Joseph Cafazzo

Dr. Cafazzo, an associate professor at University of Toronto and executive director of biomedical engineering at the University Health Network, is collaborating with manufacturers of diabetes devices to ensure they are compatible with computers, smartphones and each other – making it easier for people to manage their T1D. He is also working on new features for bant – a unique, free smartphone application he launched in 2010 with the support of TELUS Health Solutions that offers a simpler and more attractive option for daily diabetes management.
Dr. Michael Riddell Image

Dr. Michael Riddell

Dr. Riddell, a professor in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science at York University, is focused on reducing excessive levels of insulin and preventing hypoglycemia in people with T1D. He has previously led a team of researchers to determine guidelines for exercising safely with T1D. Dr. Riddell is part of a team working to design the T1D Performance in Exercise and Knowledge (PEAK) program that will provide people living with T1D with the tools they need to better manage their disease. He is also experimenting with a new drug that halts hypoglycemia, which will soon be ready for clinical trials. As a senior scientist at LMC Diabetes & Endocrinology, Dr. Riddell also oversees studies on optimizing insulin management for exercise.
Dr. Corinne Hoesli Image

Dr. Corinne Hoesli

Dr. Hoesli, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at McGill University, is testing an innovative method using 3D printing to create a bio artificial pancreas system. The goal is to create a system that can supply insulin-producing beta cells with the blood flow and oxygen they need to survive post-transplantation.

See our full list of researchers.

Check out our Video Gallery  to find out more about the research advances scientists have made in type 1 diabetes!