JDRF Research Strategy

JDRF was founded in 1970 to cure type 1 diabetes (T1D). That goal has not been achieved yet—and we won’t stop until it is—but 50 years of T1D research has led us to a pivotal moment in time. We know what cures are going to look like and the steps required to make them a reality. We also know that while life with T1D is less burdensome than it was 50 years ago, we still have a long way to go to make the daily management of T1D easier, safer, and healthier.

Everything we’ve learned in the past 50 years informed our new, updated research strategy. Created by JDRF scientists, vetted with external experts and approved by a board of volunteers, all of whom have a personal connection to T1D, this strategy is our plan for making the biggest possible difference in the fight against T1D in the next 5 years.

5 years, 5 goals

JDRF has 5 goals over the next 5 years. These goals were made with one thing in mind: finding Cures for T1D and Improving Lives of those affected by it—and doing it as quickly as possible.

  1. Developing and executing a global universal screening strategy that reduces diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) at diagnosis.
  2. Accelerating the development of disease-modifying therapies that delay, stop, or reverse the development and progression of T1D.
  3. Advancing the development of first-generation beta cell replacement therapies, demonstrating reduction in insulin requirements and other benefits, potentially with the use of local immunosuppression.
  4. Improving overall outcomes in people with T1D, reducing disease burden and complications, and reducing barriers to the adoption of newly approved life-changing breakthroughs.
  5. Fostering a community of T1D researchers and clinicians through training awards and networking activities—and bridging the gap between endocrinologists, transplant surgeons, psychologists, and immunologists.

How We’re Doing It

JDRF does more than just fund T1D research. Since our founding in 1970, JDRF has funded over $2.8 billion into finding cures for T1D, but that doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of our impact. JDRF is the global leader in T1D; we collaborate with all stakeholders, including companies, peer organizations, governments, and other agencies, to move the needle as quickly as possible. Over the next 5 years, we will continue to do this with a strategic focus on:
  • Supporting therapies through the R&D pipeline that we believe can work and become approved therapies for T1D.

  • Making big bets on promising research initiatives with the potential to pay huge dividends.

  • Sustaining partnerships with our peers and stakeholders, like the National Institutes of Health, Helmsley Charitable Trust, and other foundations and government funders that leverage resources and complement strengths to fill gaps and remove barriers.

  • Cultivating multi-disciplinary teams with diverse participants to address specific scientific challenges.

  • Guiding the activities of T1D stakeholders in academia, private sector, and government via thought leadership to achieve our goals.

How We’ll Measure Success

JDRF has only one way to measure success: people with T1D doing better. We are more committed than ever to ensuring that people with T1D have access to affordable, life changing therapies that improve the lives of people with or at risk of T1D. Our ultimate goal is to deliver that through cures, and we are determined to deliver better therapies to manage life with T1D until that goal becomes a reality. 

Want a deeper dive? Head over the JDRF GrantCenter where you can read each of the scientific strategy documents.

View JDRF Vice President of Research, Sanjoy Dutta, Ph.D. as he walks through JDRF’s research strategy.