Our primary mission at JDRF has always been to fund innovative, visionary solutions that advance our collective journey toward a world without Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). It is important to recognize the astonishing progress we have made in the past few years alone — in just a short time; some of the nation’s most creative scientific minds have led us to new levels of convenience, efficiency, and comfort in the realm of Type 1 Diabetes treatment. JDRF regularly collaborates with these leaders of innovation to discuss the impacts of emerging technology and the pathways it creates for future advancements. This past month, we met with Dayton Coles, a key contributor to the field of Type 1 Diabetes research, to review our recent progress and to plan for future action.
Coles has served as the co-chair of JDRF’s Research Information Volunteer program since its beginnings. He also has served as the chair of the JDRF Research Committee. Additionally, he played a crucial role in the formation of JDRF’s Industry Discovery and Development Partnership Program, which funds T1D research in companies across the globe. After volunteering under JDRF’s research programs for over 20 years, he has gathered extensive experience in Type 1 Diabetes-related technology and innovation.
The improvements Coles highlighted include several treatment options that have emerged quite recently. For example, in September 2016, the FDA approved the world’s first hybrid closed-loop artificial pancreas, which provides automated basal insulin rates. In the wake of this achievement, a variety of companies have created their own closed-loop designs. This technology is likely to improve rapidly in the coming years. Researchers ultimately hope to move toward a fully autonomous artificial pancreas that fully controls insulin levels without user input, allowing a much more self-sufficient form of treatment. Another noteworthy advancement Coles discussed is the continued improvement of “smart insulin” models, which aims to reduce dangerous blood sugar fluctuations by creating a form of insulin that activates only when glucose levels exceed a certain threshold. Finally, restorative medicine is another focus of diabetes research, as scientists continue to make progress in regenerating healthy beta cells to treat the underlying cause of T1D.
We are proud of the immense progress we have made, and we hope you will join us in supporting the future of Type 1 Diabetes research! You can learn more by visiting the JDRF blog on our website at http://www.jdrf.org/blog/
Written by: Lorena Bergstrom