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Beta Cell Replacement

Thanks to recent advances, people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) could be freed from their blood glucose monitors and insulin injections for years, or even decades. The JDRF Beta Cell Replacement Program invests in research and clinical trials to develop and deliver life-changing therapies that place healthy, insulin-producing beta cells back into the bodies of people with T1D.

Our Approach

In people with T1D, the autoimmune system destroys the pancreas’s beta cells, which produce insulin. One known way to cure T1D—at least for a short time—is to replace destroyed beta cells with cells that make insulin, and protect them so that they can function for a very long time. Currently, only a small portion of people living with T1D can get this treatment because of the challenges of producing beta cells, and because a beta cell recipient must also take medications to protect the implanted beta cells for the rest of his or her life.

  • Develop a renewable beta cell source

    so that every person with T1D can get this treatment

  • Find ways to maintain the beta cells

    so they stay functional in the body for years—or even decades

  • Shield the beta cells from immune attack

    to prevent the need for anti-rejection drugs or the recurrence of T1D

“No need for multiple daily insulin injections, no need for an insulin pump, no more constant blood testing or wearing continuous glucose monitors, no more carb counting? Sign me up. To be liberated to go about my daily life as if I didn’t even have the disease? Just the possibility of it seems like a dream.”

Emma L.

32 years old, diagnosed at age 15

Emma L.

Many Paths, One Purpose

Our research into beta cell replacement technology is just one potential pathway to finding a cure for T1D. Explore JDRF’s ambitious research portfolio.

All Research

Looking Ahead

To date, more than $110 million has been invested by JDRF. Future research will continue to automate blood-sugar management, dramatically reduce T1D-related risks and reduce the burden on people living with the disease.

By automating much of blood-sugar management,

these systems dramatically reduce T1D-related risks and reduce the burden of people living with the disease.