Driving Research to create a world without type 1 diabetes

Posted by: Amanda O'Neill, Manager of Corporate Development - October 19, 2015

In case you are not familiar, type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that affects millions of children and adults. There’s a misconception that it’s related to diet or lifestyle, but that is simply not the case. There is nothing you can do to prevent it and—currently—there is no cure.

Where JDRF fits in

JDRF was founded by parents determined to discover a cure for their children with T1D. Through grassroots fundraising and advocacy efforts, we expanded to become the largest global organization focused on funding T1D research. Our mission is simple—to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications.

We are committed to creating a world where no one has to deal with the incredible burden of living with this disease. Until that is a reality, JDRF will continue to drive scientific progress to deliver new treatments and therapies that make management of T1D easier, safer and healthier by:

  • Funding groundbreaking T1D research
  • Advocating for government support of research and new therapies
  • Engaging the T1D community

JDRF has funded nearly $2 billion in cumulative T1D research since 1970. Although we have made amazing strides in understanding and fighting this disease, there is still more to learn. Our strength lies in identifying and investing in promising therapies in the early stages and helping researchers pursue innovative ideas and approaches, like the three mentioned below.


Keeping blood glucose within a safe range is a complicated, time-consuming prospect for people living with T1D. Encapsulated beta cell replacement therapies could liberate people by allowing them to live without injecting or pumping insulin for months at a time. JDRF has been—and will continue to be—a driving force behind encapsulation research that could make this treatment widely available to the T1D community.

Artificial Pancreas

Artificial Pancreas (AP) systems are an exciting technology that will automate blood-sugar management to help reduced T1D-related risks and make daily life easier for everyone affected. JDRF has made incredible strides in AP technology since the launch of our Artificial Pancreas Project in 2006. We are hopeful that early AP systems with the ability to predict sugar trends and customize doses accordingly will enter the market as early as 2017.

Glucose Control

While today’s insulin formulations save lives, a lack of tight control over blood glucose leaves people with T1D at risk for dangerous hypoglycemic or hyperglycemic episodes. That’s whyJDRF is funding research in glucose-responsive insulin (GRI) that will turn on when it’s needed to control blood sugar and off when levels gets too low. GRI has the potential to reduce glucose monitoring, lessen the amount of doses needed throughout the day and make managing T1D safer and easier.

For more information on JDRF—or our research—visit jdrf.org