JDRF Lends Research Expertise to Danish Diabetes Academy

JDRF Lends Research Expertise to Danish Diabetes Academy

–JDRF and Novo Nordisk Foundation to jointly fund new initiative–

JDRF Contact:   

USA                    Michael Cook, +1 212-479-7510; mcook@jdrf.org

Denmark             Finn Kristensen, +45 40 53 90 00; finn.kristensen@jdrf.dk


New York, NY, September 26, 2012 – JDRF announced today that it will partner with the Novo Nordisk Foundation to provide funding and training for the newly-established Danish Diabetes Academy (DDA). The academy, the first of its kind in Denmark, will employ as many as 300 staff with a goal of improving the quality and raising the visibility of diabetes research in the country. The announcement will be formally made at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), held this year in Berlin from October 3 through October 7.

The DDA will be located centrally at the University Hospital Odense, but will be driving research in universities and hospitals throughout the country. Its 300 membership positions, including 90 Ph.D.s and 50 post-doctorates, will be offered to top researchers in Denmark as well as visitors to the academy from around the world.

“Diabetes is a serious threat to our health. The Danish Diabetes Academy will provide possibilities for new solutions in the fight against type 1 and 2 diabetes for the benefit of the research environment and the patients at large. Our ambitious goal is to offer diabetes patients a normal quality of life and a normal life span,” said Professor Henning Beck-Nielsen, one of Denmark’s most experienced diabetes researchers and the coming head of the academy.

JDRF and its affiliate, JDRF Denmark, have been particularly supportive of this initiative, and have been officially recognized through the academy’s International Research Partnership program that will provide funding for JDRF trainees in laboratories outside of Denmark.

“JDRF is proud to be supporting this important initiative,” said JDRF Chief Scientific Officer Richard Insel, M.D. “The goals of the Danish Diabetes Academy align well with JDRF’s own vision for type 1 diabetes research, and we are excited to be able to share our expertise as a global leader in the field.”

Type 1 diabetes affects as many as 3 million Americans, and recent studies conducted in the United States and abroad have shown that the number of young people being diagnosed with the disease continues to rise. Furthermore, type 1 and type 2 diabetes affect approximately 366 million people worldwide, including 290,000 people in Denmark alone and an estimated 250,000 more yet to be diagnosed in the country .

“Type 1 diabetes has a significant impact on the people of Denmark, and it is important that we respond as a nation,” said Finn Kristensen, chief executive officer of JDRF Denmark. “The goal of the Danish Diabetes Academy is to give Danish research a position among the most outstanding worldwide, and with the help and support of JDRF, I am confident that that goal can be achieved.”



About Type 1 Diabetes

In type 1 diabetes (T1D), a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. People with T1D need to test their blood sugar and give themselves insulin (with injections or an insulin pump) multiple times every day, and carefully balance insulin doses with eating and daily activities throughout the day and night. However, insulin is not a cure for diabetes, and even with that intensive care, a significant portion of the day is still spent with either high or low blood sugar, placing people with T1D at risk for devastating complications such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, and amputation.

About the Novo Nordisk Foundation

The Novo Nordisk Foundation is an independent Danish foundation with corporate interests that dates back to 1926. The objective of the Novo Nordisk Foundation is twofold:  To provide a stable basis for the commercial and research activities conducted by the companies within the Novo Group and to support scientific and humanitarian purposes.

In 2011 the Foundation awarded DKK 433 million (¬58.2 million) in funding to research, primarily in Denmark. Since 2007 the Foundation has awarded in excess of DKK 2,9 billion (¬390 million) to the establishment of the Danish National Biobank as well as four large centers of research in Denmark where researchers from all over the world are taking part in groundbreaking, multidisciplinary projects. The centers are

  • Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research
  • Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research
  • Novo Nordisk Foundation Section for Basic Stem Cell Biology
  • Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability

The first three are situated at the University of Copenhagen, the fourth at the Technical University of Denmark. For further reading see www.novonordiskfonden.dk


About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents, and adults with this disease, JDRF is now the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. The goal of JDRF research is to improve the lives of all people affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners who share this goal.

Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.7 billion to diabetes research. Past JDRF efforts have helped to significantly advance the care of people with this disease, and have expanded the critical scientific understanding of T1D. JDRF will not rest until T1D is fully conquered. More than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education.