Government of Canada and partners invest $20 million in new diabetes research teams

News release

November 25, 2021 — Ottawa, Ontario — Canadian Institutes of Health Research

November is Diabetes Awareness Month—a time to reflect on a disease that affects millions of Canadians and to recognize the scientific advances that have been made in the prevention and to treatment of diabetes in Canada, beginning with the discovery of insulin in 1921. 

Despite this life-saving discovery and the ongoing progress that has been made in treating this disease, the burden of diabetes and its related complications on individuals, families, communities, and health care systems is increasing in Canada and around the world. 

That is why the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Health, today announced a joint investment of $20 million to support new research teams across Canada. These teams will work to develop new approaches to preventing, treating, and caring for Canadians living with diabetes. Researchers will also work with patient partners—people with lived experience of diabetes—to ensure that the research being conducted is relevant and valuable to the people that it affects most. 

The Government of Canada is providing $14 million of the funding announced today through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). The additional $6 million is being provided by JDRF Canada, Diabetes Canada, The Kidney Foundation of Canada, and Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé. This investment is part of CIHR’s 100 Years of Insulin: Accelerating Canadian Discoveries to Defeat Diabetes initiative. 


“Diabetes continues to be a major health concern for many Canadians – all of us know someone who has had their life profoundly changed by this disease. That is why we must continue to work with partners to invest in research to lessen the burden of diabetes on individuals, families, communities and our health care systems.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

“Research will play an important role in the development and implementation of Canada’s national diabetes framework. By funding this research in collaboration with key national and provincial partners, we will help find new ways to prevent and treat diabetes and its complications and swiftly deliver solutions to Canadians.”

Sonia Sidhu
Member of Parliament for Brampton South

“CIHR’s Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes is pleased to collaborate with national partners to fund impactful new research teams that will build on Canada’s strength in diabetes research and advance preventive and therapeutic solutions for people living with diabetes.”

Dr. Norman Rosenblum
Scientific Director, CIHR Institute of Nutrition, Metabolism and Diabetes

“JDRF is proud to partner with CIHR to accelerate research into a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D). This year we commemorate 100 years of insulin, and recognize the need to move beyond insulin therapy for as many as 300,000 Canadians currently living with T1D. This research will reduce the impact and burden on people affected by the disease, and help us achieve our ultimate goal, to give people freedom from T1D. We are grateful to our community and donors for enabling our $3.5 million investment that will be matched by CIHR to help us attain this goal.”

Dave Prowten
President and CEO, JDRF Canada

“The 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin celebrates one of the most important breakthroughs in Canadian medical history. However, the need for further research and application of that knowledge is greater than ever given that more than 5.5 million Canadians live with diabetes today. There is no better way to honour the achievements of Drs. Banting, Best, Collip, Macleod, and all other diabetes researchers after them, than to fund research to advance many promising projects that could lead to the next great scientific breakthrough. We can’t wait another 100 years to end diabetes.”

Laura Syron
President and CEO, Diabetes Canada

“The Kidney Foundation of Canada is proud to be part of this significant investment and partnership to support talented researchers and allied health care professionals who will address the complex kidney disease-diabetes relationship. Through improved intervention strategies and treatment options, diabetes does not have to be the leading cause of kidney failure. We are committed to research that makes a positive impact where it matters most – in the lives of those directly impacted by kidney disease.”

Elizabeth Myles
National Executive Director, Kidney Foundation of Canada

“The Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé is pleased to collaborate with CIHR and its partners to support diabetes research in the 100th anniversary year of the discovery of insulin. Congratulations to the two Québec research teams funded through this partnership, in collaboration with the Cardiometabolic Health, Diabetes and Obesity Research Network. The excellence of their work and the contribution of patients and their families will help advance research on the prevention and treatment of diabetes.” 

Dr. Rémi Quirion
Chief Scientist, Fonds de recherché du Québec

Quick facts

  • Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the pancreas does not produce insulin or cannot effectively use or produce enough insulin. 

  • One in three people in Canada is living with diabetes or prediabetes. 

  • Over the past five years, CIHR has invested more than $230M in diabetes research.

  • CIHR and its partners – JDRF Canada, Diabetes Canada, The Kidney Foundation of Canada, and Fonds de recherche du Québec – Santé – are providing $20 million to support new diabetes research teams across Canada. 

  • This investment is part of CIHR’s 100 Years of Insulin: Accelerating Canadian Discoveries to Defeat Diabetes initiative

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Marie-France Proulx
Office of the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos
Minister of Health

Media Relations
Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Paul St-Germain
National Communications Manager
The Kidney Foundation of Canada

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