Partnership to Help Initiative in Regenerative Medicine and Nanomedicine
For immediate release --
Attention: Assignment editors, health, research and science reportersNEW YORK (May 24, 2006) - The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), the world's largest charitable funder of research in type 1 diabetes and its complications, announced today a partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) to support an initiative in Regenerative Medicine and Nanomedicine. This partnership on this initiative will support stem cell research in Canada on type 1 diabetes.
The partnership, potentially worth USD $1.9 million (CAD $2.0 million) over five years, seeks to expedite the practical application of scientific advances in understanding beta cell growth and differentiation, and continues a successful tradition of collaboration between JDRF and the Canadian government.
JDRF's partnership with CIHR is part of the agency's goal in encouraging the development of multi-disciplinary research approaches to dealing with regenerative medicine and nanomedicine, two emerging fields of research in Canada.
"We are thrilled to announce a significant new milestone in our partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research that will provide important new funds to more deeply explore the rapidly expanding fields of regenerative medicine and nanomedicine in Canada," said Dr. Richard Insel, Executive Vice President of Research for JDRF. "The important work our Canadian colleagues are doing in these fields will expand our understanding of how to effectively regenerate pancreatic beta cells, and bring us one step closer to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications."
"Regenerative medicine and nanomedicine are truly the new frontiers of health research. Together, they have the potential to transform the way we prevent, diagnose and treat disease," said Dr. Alan Bernstein, President of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. "This important collaboration with JDRF is leveraging CIHR's commitment to provide Canadian researchers with the support they need and to support research that will make a difference for the health of Canadians."
The JDRF and CIHR joint program funded projects to the following investigators:
Dr. Tim Kieffer from the University of British Columbia will lead a group of researchers to investigate a novel gene therapy strategy to regenerate pancreatic beta cells that are destroyed in type 1 diabetes. By using a non-replicating virus (AAV8) to deliver genes to beta cells that will promote expansion, inhibit beta cell destruction, or suppress immune-mediated beta cell destruction, they hypothesize that this approach will lead to the development of treatments for the successful prevention and reversal of diabetes.
Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg of the McGill University Health Centre will lead a team of researchers in designing and developing an innovative bioengineered process for the production of pancreatic endocrine tissue to treat diabetes. This group will apply lessons learned from studying islet cell growth and development in the context of their endogenous tissue environment to the development of bioscaffolds and bioprocessing protocols to effectively grow functional islets ex-vivo on an industrial scale. The researchers hope to eventually improve islet cell replacement therapies.
For more information please contact:
Joana CasasJDRF Media Relations212.479.7560E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marie-France PoirierCIHR Media Specialist Office: (613) 941-4563 Mobile: (613) 447-4794 E-mail: email@example.com
JDRF (www.jdrf.org) was founded in 1970 by the parents of children with juvenile diabetes - a disease that strikes children suddenly, makes them insulin dependent for life, and carries the constant threat of devastating complications. Since its inception, JDRF has provided more than $900 million to diabetes research worldwide. More than 80 percent of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and education about research. JDRF's mission is constant: to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of Canada's agency for health research. CIHR's mission is to create new scientific knowledge and to catalyze its translation into improved health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened Canadian health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides leadership and support over 10,000 health researchers and trainees across Canada.