The Right Timing to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes – Netherlands-Canada Type 2 Diabetes Research Consortium


Summary: Recently, our 24-hour culture has been identified as a potential cause of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Technological and societal advances, such as electric lighting and digital screens, shift work, travelling across time zones, and round-the-clock food availability, disrupt our body’s internal clock, resulting in a mismatch between light cues and behavior cues wreaking havoc on our circadian rhythms. This mistiming of cues is now thought to be a contributor to the rise in T2D rates. The Netherlands-Canada Type 2 Diabetes Research Consortium will study the mechanisms and the impact of differentially timed lifestyle interventions throughout the 24-hour period on the development of T2D to identify more effective approaches to prevent this disease. This Consortium will engage experts in a variety of fields to optimize interventions based on circadian metabolic rhythmicity to prevent T2D, train the future generation of health researchers in the field, and engage patient partners at the international level. The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw), Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (Health~Holland), the Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation (Diabetes Fonds) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) will jointly fund this international research Consortium.

About the Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation: In the Netherlands, almost 1.2 million people live with diabetes. This number is expected to rise considerably by 2040 to almost 1.5 million. Type 1 and type 2 diabetes can have a major impact on quality of life. In addition, diabetes is the start of many other complications, such as cardiovascular disease and damage to the eyes, kidneys and feet. The Dutch Diabetes Research Foundation (only in Dutch) strives to realize a world free of diabetes. For type 1 diabetes, we focus on cure and an improved quality of life. For type 2 diabetes, we focus on prevention and lifestyle medicine in addition to a better quality of life.

About Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (Health~Holland): As coordinator of the societal theme Health & Care of the Mission-Driven Top Sectors and Innovation Policy, Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (Health~Holland) works with public and private parties to realise economic opportunities within this theme. The coalition does this based on the five Health & Care missions drawn up by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. The key mission is: By 2040, all Dutch citizens will live at least five years longer in good health, while the health inequalities between the lowest and highest socioeconomic groups will have decreased by 30%. There are four underlying missions that contribute to this key mission by making changes in the living environment, providing more care at the right location and improving the perspectives of people with chronic illnesses and dementia.

About the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw): The Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) funds health research, promotes the use of the resulting knowledge and signals where more knowledge is needed. From research driven by curiosity to implementation in practice: we work together with experiential experts, policymakers and professionals from everyday practice and education. We understand the concerns of our target groups and ensure qualitatively good and relevant outcomes that are applicable in practice. Together with our partners, we identify which knowledge is missing and bring important developments to the attention of the right people. By doing this, ZonMw has a substantial impact on improving health and care for everybody.

About CIHR: At the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) we know that research has the power to change lives. As Canada's health research investment agency, we collaborate with partners and researchers to support the discoveries and innovations that improve our health and strengthen our health care system

About CIHR’s Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes (INMD): The Institute of Nutrition Metabolism and Diabetes (INMD) supports research to enhance health in relation to diet, digestion, excretion, and metabolism; and to address causes, prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, support systems, and palliation of conditions and problems associated with hormone, digestive system, kidney, and liver function.

Canadian Investigators

Dr. André Carpentier
Nominated Principal Applicant: Université de Sherbrooke

Dr. Denis Blondin
Principal Applicant: Université de Sherbrooke

Dr. David Campbell
Principal Applicant: University of Calgary

Dr. Jean-Pierre Després
Principal Applicant: Université Laval

Dr. Parminder Raina
Principal Applicant: McMaster University

Dutch Investigators

Dr. Patrick Schrauwen
Nominated Principal Applicant: Maastricht University

Dr. Renée de Mutsert
Principal Applicant: Leiden University Medical Center

Dr. Joris Hoeks
Principal Applicant: Maastricht University

Dr. Femke Rutters
Principal Applicant: Amsterdam University Medical Center

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