JDRF Announces the Inaugural John Brady Award for Innovation

New award to recognize leadership in innovation among JDRF’s volunteer base;
Breaking barriers and identifying breakthrough opportunities can accelerate mission

NEW YORK, [November 14, 2019]JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, today announced the launch of the John Brady Award for Innovation. The award will recognize an outstanding volunteer who has exhibited leadership in driving innovation, identifying breakthrough opportunities, and advancing ideas with the potential to meaningfully impact the T1D community.

Each year the award will honor a volunteer with inspiring vision and dedication to improving the lives of people with T1D. It will recognize individuals breaking barriers and pioneering new ways of thinking that accelerate JDRF’s mission to cure, prevent and treat T1D. The award recognizes that bold and visionary ideas often come from JDRF’s network of exceptional volunteers.

The Award for Innovation is named for John Brady, a longtime JDRF volunteer whose son was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 3 in 1992. Mr. Brady was a member the JDRF International Board of Directors (IBOD) for seven years and served as its chair from 2014 to 2016. A leader in technology investment and funding, Mr. Brady’s innovative thinking created the foundation of the JDRF T1D Fund, a venture philanthropy started in 2016 to invest in companies developing cures and treatments for T1D. All profits are reinvested in the fund, which has $70 million under management and so far has supported 13 companies creating biological therapies to cure T1D or creating transformational technology and treatments. The fund has brought new companies into the T1D space — and spurred existing companies to do more — and will help move scientific advances more quickly into the hands of people with T1D.

“As a longstanding volunteer, John Brady is turning steps into leaps. He exemplifies the type of innovation we need to accelerate our mission. John did not accept the status quo and he challenged the way things were done to create new opportunities in fundraising and philanthropic investment,” said Ellen Leake, chair of the JDRF International Board of Directors. “This next-generation, non-profit venture philanthropy has generated more support to accelerate JDRF’s pace to cures.”

Many other JDRF volunteers bring inspired thinking to the effort to create a world without T1D. Their innovation can be found in all areas of JDRF’s mission — research, community, advocacy, and fundraising. Candidates for the John Brady Award for Innovation may come from any area of chapter or national volunteer service, including local volunteers, International Board of Directors, Board Committees and Chancellors. JDRF regional directors, chapter executive directors, members of JDRF’s Leadership Giving team, volunteers and JDRF staff members can nominate candidates.

“True innovators pioneer new ways of thinking about existing problems. They identify new possibilities and anticipate shifts in the world around us,” said Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D., president and CEO of JDRF. “At JDRF, our chapters are our innovation labs. That’s why we’re asking JDRF staff and our incredible volunteer network to nominate projects or work that have the possibility to inspire potential big ideas in the future.”

The first John Brady for Innovation award honoree will be named JDRF’s annual One Conference on November 19, 2019.


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 more than $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 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 jdrf.org or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF

About JDRF T1D Fund

The JDRF T1D Fund (www.t1dfund.org) is a venture philanthropy fund accelerating life-changing solutions to treat, prevent and cure type 1 diabetes (T1D) through catalytic commercial investments. Through its investments in partnership with private capital, including venture capital, corporations and foundations, the T1D Fund seeks to attract the private investment necessary to advance drugs, devices, diagnostics, and vaccines into the hands of those living with T1D. The T1D Fund invests in areas strategically aligned with JDRF, the leading global organization funding T1D research, with an exclusive focus on supporting the best commercial opportunities. The T1D Fund will reinvest any realized gains into new investments to further its mission.