Diabetes doesn’t bring other health problems

Imagine a world where type 1 diabetes (T1D)-related complications are reversed and prevented

Why it matters

Despite advances that are giving people with T1D better tools to control their disease, tight glucose control doesn’t fully eliminate the risk for complications such as kidney, eye, cardiovascular and nerve diseases. We are working to change this bleak reality by developing treatments to prevent, reverse or slow down the progression of T1D-related complications that severely impact quality of life and can lead to premature death.

Until there is a cure for T1D, we are committed to lessening the burden of this disease by helping people live without fear of its complications.

Our pioneering research

The JDRF Complications Program is strategically focused on diabetic kidney and eye diseases, where we believe we have the best opportunity to make a short-term and long-term impact on people’s lives.

About 55 percent of people with T1D have some form of diabetic eye disease, and one in four people with T1D develop kidney disease. We are funding research to identify biomarkers (biological signs of a disease’s existence or stage) for these specific diabetic complications and expand understanding of how they develop. This will help us create new treatments as well as techniques for detecting complications at their earliest stage before they have an opportunity to do damage. It will also allow us to identify people at highest risk for developing complications so we can prevent or delay their development.

Our research has already yielded new treatments. For example, JDRF-funded researchers developed the first medication to target vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a protein that promotes blood vessel growth that can cause diabetic eye disease. Today, we are funding clinical trials of other complications therapies. New help could be coming soon for people with T1D-related eye and kidney diseases.


JDRF scientists

Meet the experts leading complications research.

  • Sanjoy Dutta, Ph.D.

    Sanjoy Dutta, Ph.D.

    Sanjoy Dutta is associate vice president, research, for JDRF, where he focuses on managing and developing ways we can treat T1D.

    Sanjoy Dutta, Ph.D.

  • Marlon Pragnell, Ph.D.

    Marlon Pragnell, Ph.D.

    Marlon Pragnell is an associate director, research, and lead of the Complications Program, which aims to preserve kidney function and vision in people with T1D.

    Marlon Pragnell, Ph.D.

Explore more life-changing research

Find out why each of these research areas is part of the plan for a world without T1D.