JDRF Launches First Center of Excellence, Aiming to Accelerate Type 1 Diabetes Research

JDRF today launched its first Center of Excellence, a new research and funding model aimed at accelerating leading type one diabetes (T1D) research.

The new JDRF Northern California Center of Excellence will unite the work being done at Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco, focusing on beta cell therapies and immune therapies.

“We’re excited that the Northern California center is our first Center of Excellence,” said Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D., President and CEO of JDRF. “The scientists at Stanford and UCSF are leaders in driving true innovation as they advance research into the immune system, beta cells and stem cells.”

Centers of Excellence are a new concept aiming to tap into and accelerate critical T1D research being done around the world.

The new model gives researchers the stability that will enable longer-term projects, while also allowing the flexibility to be nimble as new science emerges.

The innovative model also promotes collaboration and provides longer-term stability to institutions that have demonstrated excellence in T1D research. Each Center will be initially funded for five years through the generous support of JDRF donors.

The Northern California Center will focus on the interaction of immune cells with insulin-producing beta cells; generating islets and immune cells from stem cells for next-generation therapies; and developing ways to transplant insulin-producing cells into people with T1D without requiring immunosuppression.

It brings together experts in the fields of stem cells, T1D immunology, gene editing, transplant immunology and technology. Many of the scientists have received JDRF early-career grants that prompted them to make T1D research the focus of their life’s work.

The JDRF Northern California Center of Excellence is made possible with initial contributions from Karen and Jeff Jordan, Michelle Griffin and Tom Parker and Karen and Joe Niehaus.

To learn more, read our press release here.