Care Today and Hope for Tomorrow

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Brigitte Frohnert, M.D., Ph.D., University of Colorado, does double duty as an endocrinologist and an investigator

Dr. Frohnert first became involved with JDRF by speaking to families at a TypeOneNation Summit about the first year of living with type 1 diabetes (T1D). “A huge part of our role as clinicians in those early days is letting families know they’re not alone and it’s going to be ok,” she says. For those facing a new T1D diagnosis, connecting with others who can offer care and understanding can be a lifeline. That’s why the T1D community is at the heart of all we do at JDRF. Since our founding by parents of children diagnosed with T1D, JDRF has focused on finding a cure while providing support and hope to people living with T1D.

Dr. Frohnert is a perfect example. In addition to supporting families with T1D via medical care, Dr. Frohnert inspires hope through her research focused on preventing T1D. She is investigating factors that contribute to the disease, seeking ways to delay or prevent autoimmunity. Her studies could help people recently diagnosed with T1D as well as their relatives who may be at risk – both now and in the future. “Understanding the causes and accelerators of T1D could help prolong the honeymoon period in people who are diagnosed early and offers hope that we can make a difference for other family members or for the next generation,” she explains.

Dr. Frohnert is pursuing this goal thanks to a five-year grant from JDRF. The Early-Career Patient-Oriented Diabetes Research Award allows her to dedicate time to research, setting a course for her career that will help unlock some of the mysteries of T1D. “This award enables me to stay in the field of T1D research and not get elbowed out by limited resources. It’s huge for me to have this window of productivity to be able to build a research portfolio,” she explains. By funding early-career scientists, Dr. Frohnert says, “JDRF is cultivating a cadre of researchers who are going to push forward the mission of JDRF.” Meet more of our legion of scientists or learn more about our mission.

By Monica Harrington