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The Helmsley Charitable Trust Launches a Bold New Type 1 Diabetes Prevention Initiative

Published: 5/18/15

Twitter Summary: @HelmsleyT1D launches new #T1D prevention initiative, w/ $8.7 million given to 5 organizations to study #T1D prevention

The Helmsley Charitable Trust (HCT) just launched a new type 1 diabetes prevention initiative, beginning with $8.7 million in grants awarded to five organizations. The aim is to accelerate the knowledge around what causes type 1 diabetes, as well as to lay groundwork for future prevention studies. The two largest grants are going to JDRF Australia ($4.5 million) and The University of South Florida ($2.4 million), which will support the ENDIA and TEDDY studies, respectively – both trials aim to better understand the factors that cause type 1 diabetes, especially those related to the environment.

In addition, the Helmsley Charitable Trust published a valuable and comprehensive report on the challenges and opportunities in preventing type 1 diabetes. The paper highlights that the causes of type 1 diabetes are still not well known, and current research funding has not focused as much on prevention as other areas. Though several barriers exist (e.g., costs, difficulty recruiting trial participants at risk of developing type 1, etc.), there are also many exciting areas for opportunity (e.g., vaccine research, developing better screening tools, and more). The full white paper can be found here.

We applaud the Helmsley Charitable Trust for its continued dedication to advancing type 1 diabetes research. Prevention is a very tough area, since the risk tolerance is low and the trials are expensive and time-consuming. Anyone touched by type 1 diabetes (either directly or someone in the family) can help this area by getting involved in TrialNet – one of the biggest research barriers is that it takes far too long to recruit study participants.

To learn more about the history and potential of type 1 prevention research, see our book Targeting a Cure for Type 1 Diabetes: How Long Will We Have to Wait?MV/AJW

[Editor's note: Disclosure: diaTribe is supported in part by a generous grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust.] 

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