JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) is the leading global organization funding T1D research. They amass grassroots support, develop research, and create both academic and industrial partnerships. This organization possesses a drive like no other in finding a cure for type one diabetes. Their goal is to see a future where those with T1D can live life without worry. The organization focuses research in such areas as creating an artificial pancreas, Beta Cell replacement, glucose control, future prevention, restoration, and complications.
As students at the University of Tennessee, Tyler, Bobby, Lilly, and Kaitlin decided to launch a campaign in order to raise $1,000 for a local nonprofit, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). This organization aids in the research of the causes, symptoms, and medications associated with Type 1 diabetes. We became interested in this organization through Tyler who is a member of Delta Tau Delta which advocates for JDRF. Tyler informed our group of the various opportunities to help, which include donations, One Walk (5k), The Challenge Hike (your choice of 10 or 20 miles in one day), and a bike ride. We immediately decided this was the local nonprofit we wanted to invest in because we all know someone we love who suffers from Type 1 Diabetes. Knoxville has a local JDRF chapter, which makes it even more personal for our group.
With your time, effort, and donations we can lift the burden of this disease by turning type one to type none! Here are some of the recent awesome breakthroughs that organizations around the world have come across:
Type 1 Diabetes is an extremely crippling condition. It requires a lot of attention and dedication to maintaining normal blood sugar levels. The most simple tasks, such as sleeping, can be filled with anxiety and worry. This is because episodes of dangerously low blood sugar levels can occur. As children, we all enjoyed birthday cake, ice cream, or pizza from time to time. Children with Type 1 Diabetes do not enjoy the same luxury of eating sweets without having to think about the proper insulin dose they will need. Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, along with many others, are working toward a solution: an Artificial Pancreas (JDRF). They will monitor glucose levels at all times and automatically give the correct amount of insulin an individual needs to avoid episodes of low blood sugar and other complications. An artificial pancreas was first introduced in 2006 and in 2017 they are expected to be able to predict changes in blood sugar levels ahead of time in order to prepare the correct dosage (JDRF).
First Man in Europe to No Longer Need Insulin Therapy
It occurred in Europe a little under a year ago when a 41-year old man who had been diagnosed with type one diabetes was reported to have no longer needed insulin therapy (DRI Foundation). The man had received a transplant of pancreatic cells through the DRI institute at the University of Miami.(DRI Foundation). The procedure was done by implanting islet pancreatic cells (which contain many types of cells including beta cells that contribute to the production of the hormone insulin) in a biodegradable scaffold made up of the man’s own blood plasma and thrombin. Thrombin is a commonly used medical enzyme. Together the blood plasma and thrombin become a gel like substance acting as a shield and leaves the islet cells intact to grow and produce. Over time the gel is absorbed into the body and new blood vessels form to support the donor’s cells. This procedure allows the subject to no longer need constant insulin therapy. The Diabetes research foundation has its goals set high as it is in high hopes that transplanting Islet cells will lead to the elimination of a need for anti-rejection drugs (DRI Foundation).
Nowadays, type 1 diabetics monitor their blood sugar level by injecting themselves and take finger prick tests. This could damage the skin badly, especially on children. However, scientists from University of Birmingham “are developing smart capsules which would travel through the body and release insulin when they came across high levels of blood sugar”(Knapton). This could make people with type 1 diabetes not have to worry about monitoring their blood sugar level by injecting themselves everyday. With the insulin capsule, children can go have fun with their friends outside without parents having to worry about their blood sugar level. In about 5 years, scientists will test use the insulin capsule on animals and then move on to human trials. So far, it is being tested on mouse. This whole project is funded by JDRF (Knapton).
The Pathway Scientist
One of the American Diabetes Association more competitive grants was given to PhD Thomas Delong in an effort to seek answers in preventing type one. Delong conducted an experiment isolating T-cells from a mouse model of type one diabetes in an effort to determine what it may be that they recognize as foreign insulin producing cells. Through his experimentation, Delong discovered that Hybrid Insulin Peptides (HIPs), “may play an important role in triggering the immune system to attack the body’s insulin producing cells, causing type-1 diabetes”(American Diabetes Association). From Delong’s studies we are taking vital steps towards finding ways to turn off type one diabetes, and discovering new therapies for it.
Help turn type one into type none! Donate here!
All Donations will be given to JDRF's East Tennessee chapter
Want to learn more about JDRF and the great things that it is doing? visit JDRF's homepage at http://www.jdrf.org to learn about how you can get involved and where to start.
American Diabetes Association. "Developing New Technology for Continuous Glucose Monitoring." American Diabetes Association. American Diabetes Association, 1995. Web. 02 Mar. 2017. http://www.diabetes.org/research-and-practice/we-are-research-leaders/type-1-research-highlights/developing-new-technology-for-continuous-glucose-monitoring.html
"First Type 1 Diabetes Patient in Europe Is Free from Insulin Therapy after Undergoing Diabetes Research Institute’s BioHub Transplant Technique ." First Type 1 Diabetes Patient in Europe Is Free from Insulin Therapy after Undergoing Diabetes Research Institute's BioHub Transplant Technique. Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, 2016. Web. 07 Mar. 2017. http://www.diabetes.org/research-and-practice/we-are-research-leaders/recent-advances/possible-trigger-for-t1d.html
Knapton, Sarah. "End of Daily Injection for Type One Diabetes on Horizon as Scientists Begin Building 'smart' Insulin Capsule." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 31 Dec. 2016. Web. 02 Mar. 2017. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/12/31/end-daily-injection-type-one-diabetics-horizon-scientists-begin/
"Pathway Scientist Identifies Possible Trigger for Type 1 Diabetes." American Diabetes Association. American Diabetes Association, 2017. Web. 07 Mar. 2017. http://www.diabetes.org/research-and-practice/we-are-research-leaders/recent-advances/possible-trigger-for-t1d.html
Rhea, Shawn. "New Study Finds Certain Gut Bacteria Changes May Promote Development of Type 1 Diabetes." JDRF. JDRF, 24 Sept. 2015. Web. 07 Mar. 2017. http://www.jdrf.org/blog/2015/02/05/new-study-finds-certain-gut-bacteria-changes-may-promote-development-of-type-1-diabetes/