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.
A Moonshot to Restore Vision
JDRF and the Mary Tyler Moore foundation are launching “Restoring Vision: A JDRF Moonshot Initiative,” which will convene global research leaders to design a next-generation strategy for reversing blindness in T1D individuals. This honors the legacy of Mary Tyler Moore, who served as the International Chairman of JDRF from 1984 until her death in 2017 and who was committed to finding a cure for T1D.Read more
Changing the Standards of Care for T1D
Three different therapies have shown that they improve outcomes for people with type 1 diabetes (T1D), including a drug that reduces the risk of cardiovascular and kidney complications in individuals with long-standing T1D.Read more
Conference Highlights Efforts to Stop Diabetic Kidney Disease
The kidneys are among the vital organs that are at risk for dangerous complications due to high blood-sugar levels. But JDRF-supported researchers have been making significant headway in answering questions about how T1D-related kidney disease develops, and what can be done to prevent or reverse it.Read more
Antibiotic Could Slow Down Diabetic Retinopathy
The antibiotic doxycycline could slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy, according to recent clinical trials.Read more
Old Drug Offers New Hope for Preventing Kidney Disease
The PERL clinical trial, which JDRF funded an earlier pilot study, will explore the potential of allopurinol, a gout drug, to delay or halt kidney disease in people with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Given the availability, low cost, and safety of the drug, a tangible treatment for people with T1D could follow in the study’s footsteps.Read more
New Drug Available for Diabetic Eye Disease
For many people who have experienced diabetic macular edema (DME), the future looks a little clearer. In 2012, the FDA approved use of the drug Lucentis® (ranibizumab) for the treatment of DME. Developed by Genentech, Lucentis is the first and only FDA-approved medicine for this condition.Read more
New Potential for Preventing Diabetic Eye Disease
After finding a way to block production of plasma kallikrein, an enzyme associated with diabetic macular edema, researchers are now exploring potential treatments.Read more
Gene Linked to Complications Identified
In 2008, JDRF-funded researchers discovered that a specific gene, erythropoietin, increased the likelihood of diabetic complications in the retina and kidneys.Read more
Meet the experts leading complications research.
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 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.