Diabetes Research Connection to Attend Children with Diabetes Friends for Life Conference to Raise Awareness, Help Prevent and Cure Type 1 Diabetes

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By attending the seventeenth annual conference, DRC hopes to assist children suffering from diabetes, and those who are directly affected, find a cure

Diabetes Research Connection

We are pioneering a new way to not only raise funds for research, but also educate the public on what scientists are doing to better their lives and make living with type 1 diabetes less of a daily burden.

Diabetes Research Connection (DRC) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to connect donors with early-career scientists who have a passion and drive to prevent and cure type 1 diabetes. With a goal to make a difference in the lives of those who are suffering, DRC is attending the annual Children with Diabetes Friends for Life Conference in Orlando, Florida from July 5th-10th, 2016.

At the conference, members of DRC will provide attendees with the latest type 1 diabetes research findings. One of the unique aspects of the organization is the fact that the public has direct access to some of the most talented new researchers working to find ways to prevent, cure and better treat those with type 1 diabetes.

“We are pioneering a new way to not only raise funds for research, but also educate the public, especially those who suffer from type 1 diabetes, on what scientists are doing to better their lives and make living with type 1 diabetes less of a daily burden,” said Diabetes Research Connection Board Chair, David Winkler.

One project DRC is hoping to gain support for is titled “Replacement of Beta Cells from an Unexpected Source” by Joseph Lancman, Ph.D. Given the concerns associated with transplantation of cells cultured from stem cells, Lancman’s lab sought a completely different approach to generate replacement beta cells. Using their knowledge of how cell identity, particularly pancreas cells, is genetically programmed and the new theory of cell identity regulation, Lancman’s lab recently devised a method to reprogram completely unrelated cells into cells that can normally go on to form beta cells. With this breakthrough, Lancman believes they have made a substantial advance towards converting nearly any cell types into replacement beta cells, without having to remove them from a patient’s body.

Another project DRC is funding is titled “Identify Biomarkers for Susceptibility to Both Type 1 Diabetes and Mental Disorders” by Agata Jurczyk, Ph.D. People with diabetes are more likely to have depression than the general population. Young people with type 1 diabetes have 11 times the suicide rate. This project will involve an unbiased search for relationships between psychiatric disorders and type 1 diabetes. Jurczyk’s lab intends to discover genetic biomarkers that identify type 1 diabetes patients who are susceptible to mental disorders, and vice versa. They also hope to find a genetic association that links type 1 diabetes and psychiatric disorders. All of this will lead to improved therapies, even preventative ones, and alleviate suffering caused by both illnesses.

The third project that will be showcased by DRC is “Regrowth of Beta Cells with Small Molecule Therapy” by Peter Thompson, Ph.D. Through this project, Thompson hopes to identify what happens to the beta cell on the path towards their destruction and the development of diabetes. With this, Thompson and his team may be able to reverse the progression towards an onset of diabetes.

Those who are attending the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life Conference can visit DRC at table six for more information. To learn more about the organization and current projects, please visit http://www.diabetesresearchconnection.org.

ABOUT DIABETES RESEARCH CONNECTION

The Diabetes Research Connection is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization headquartered in San Diego, California. Established in 2012 by five tireless proponents of diabetes research, our mission is to connect donors with early-career scientists enabling them to perform peer-reviewed novel research designed to prevent and cure type 1 diabetes, minimize its complications and improve the quality of life for those living with the disease. For more information, visit http://www.diabetesresearchconnection.org.

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Stephanie Spaulding