Ten scientists have won Type 1 Diabetes Pathfinder Awards for highly innovative research studies that offer exceptional promise for improving the understanding, prevention, and treatment of type 1 diabetes and its complications. The recipients, all new researchers who have never been principal investigators on an NIH-funded grant, will receive about $1.5 million each to pursue their work over a 5-year period. Their studies span a wide range of topics, from the development of a vaccine to prevent autoimmune diabetes to methods that speed wound healing and prevent recurrent injury.
About 5 to 10 percent of the nearly 24 million people with diabetes have type 1, formerly known as juvenile onset diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes. In this form of diabetes, immune cells attack and destroy pancreatic beta cells, which produce the critical hormone insulin needed for survival.
The goal of the Pathfinder Award is to support creative new investigators who propose innovative research projects that have the potential for unusually high impact in type 1 diabetes. “Many young investigators have innovative research ideas, but they don’t have the preliminary data required to compete in the traditional NIH peer review system. This award overcomes that impediment. By providing multi-year support to new researchers with highly innovative projects, we hope to attract and retain high-caliber investigators to research careers in type 1 diabetes,” said Dr. Judith Fradkin, director of the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolic Diseases of the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).
The Type 1 Diabetes Pathfinder Award Recipients for Fiscal Year 2008 are:
Brian David Brown, Ph.D.
Mount Sinai School of Medicine of NYU
Novel Strategy to Induce Islet Protective Regulatory T Cells and Prevent Diabetes
Deyu Fang, Ph.D.
University of Missouri School of Medicine
A Novel Target for Type 1 Diabetes
John M. Hollander, Ph.D.
West Virginia University School of Medicine
Mechanisms of Diabetic Cardiomyopathy: Mitchondria Subpopulations
Kenneth W. Liechty, M.D.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Extracellular Matrix Structure and Function in Diabetic Wound Healing
Xunrong Luo, M.D., Ph.D.
ECDI Coupled Cells for Tolerance in Allogeneic Islet Cell Transplantation for T1D
Edward E. Mitre, M.D.
Uniformed Services University of the Health Services
Protection Against Type 1 Diabetes by Parasitic Helminths
Cherie L. Stabler, Ph.D.
University of Miami
Functionalized, Nanoscale Coatings for Islet Encapsulation
Ben Z. Stanger, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania
An In Vivo Approach to Cell-Based Therapy for Type 1 Diabetes
Bridget K. Wagner, Ph.D.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Small-Molecule Approaches to Restore Glycemic Control in Type 1 Diabetes
Xingxing Zang, Ph.D.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
New T Cell Coinhibitory Pathway and Type 1 Diabetes
For more information about the Award and recipients’ projects, see http://www2.niddk.nih.gov/Funding/FundingOpportunities/RFA/RFA_T1D_Pathfinder_Award_Recipient.htm.
The awardees were named by NIDDK Director Griffin P. Rodgers, M.D., who based the selections on the evaluations of outside experts, the recommendations of the Institute’s National Advisory Council, and programmatic considerations. The awards are funded by a special funding program for type 1 diabetes research, which provides a $150 million annually through fiscal year (FY) 2011 to supplement funds for type 1 diabetes research made available through the regular NIH appropriations process. The NIDDK administers the program on behalf of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, in collaboration with NIH Institutes and Centers as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for research on the prevention and cure of type 1 diabetes.
For information about type 1 diabetes research, clinical trials, reports, and meetings, see http://www.t1diabetes.nih.gov/.
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