American Diabetes Association and JDRF Report on Symposium that Examined Links Between Diabetes and Intestinal Microbes

ALEXANDRIA, Va. September 29, 2015 – The American Diabetes Association (Association) and JDRF announced today publication of a report in Diabetes that paves the way for a better understanding of the microbiome and diabetes. The report focuses on the microbial community that colonizes the human gut, called the intestinal microbiota, and its link to human immune and metabolic systems with the aim of defining the critical research needed to understand and potentially target the microbiome for the prevention and treatment of diabetes.
The report is based on presentations, discussions and research recommendations from a recent jointly sponsored research symposium. Notably, the symposium was the first to assemble scientists with distinct expertise in type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, immunology and microbiology.
The idea that aspects of the microbiome could be involved in diseases such as diabetes is rooted in the close functional relationship between the immune and metabolic systems with the microbiome. For the past several years, the American Diabetes Association and JDRF have each funded independent microbiota research, much of which was presented during the joint meeting, along with work supported by other funding agencies. This report outlines future directions and research resources required to move the field forward which will help to inform requests for future grant proposals. It also identifies a number of questions that need to be answered such as: Do alterations in the microbiota influence the disease process and long-term health? Can certain characteristics of the microbiota predict onset or progression of diabetes? How do factors such as diet and circumstances of birth and early life affect the microbiota?
“The American Diabetes Association is excited to partner with JDRF to support this opportunity to explore and develop expert opinion on the current and future direction of such cutting-edge research,” said Robert E. Ratner, MD, FACP, FACE, Chief Scientific and Medical Officer, American Diabetes Association. “This type of conference is what we strive to do: to break down silos, to bring people together who typically don’t go to the same meetings and facilitate collaboration to come up with new and inventive approaches to common problems where we didn’t realize we had common ground.”
“Understanding how alterations in the intestinal microbiota contribute to disease is one of most exciting areas of biomedical research and we think it has tremendous potential for type 1 diabetes,” said JDRF’s Chief Scientific Officer, Richard Insel, MD “Based on association studies and basic research, we have a framework to develop and test microbiota-related interventions to prevent type 1 diabetes.”
Throughout the years, the Association has funded innovative and groundbreaking diabetes research and has invested more than $700 million in nearly 4,500 research projects. The Association’s research allows people to lead healthier and more productive lives every day. To learn more, visit
In 2011, JDRF formed the JDRF Microbiome Consortium to establish a collaborative network of JDRF funded investigators that will both individually, as well as collectively, address key questions related to the role for the microbiome in T1D pathogenesis and therapy. Since that time, this group has made seminal discoveries on the role of the microbiome in the pathogenesis of T1D.
About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes® and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. For the past 75 years, our mission has been to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (800-342-2383) or visit Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

About JDRF
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested nearly $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers in more than 100 locations throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF.

JDRF Media Contact:

Dianne Lavender

(212) 859-7897