JDRF Announces Joint Diabetes Research Program with The Israel Science Foundation

JDRF Announces Joint Diabetes Research Program with The Israel Science Foundation

Program aims to encourage research in Israel to solve some of the main challenges facing research progress on a cure for type 1 diabetes

Media Contacts:
Michael Cook, (212) 479-7510, mcook@jdrf.org
Joana Casas, (212) 279-7560, mcasas@jdrf.org

Science Contact:
Julia Greenstein, (212) 479-7682, jgreenstein@jdrf.org

NEW YORK, Oct. 21, 2010 – JDRF announced today that it has established a research partnership with JDRF Israel and the Israel Science Foundation (ISF), a prominent research organization in Israel, to encourage innovative research focused on accelerating progress toward a cure for type 1 diabetes. JDRF and ISF are committing up to $3 million USD each over a three-year period to support type 1 diabetes research in Israel.

The program will focus on developing a better understanding of the autoimmune response that causes human type 1 diabetes and discovering novel therapeutic approaches to eliminate or prevent the autoimmune response.

It will also focus on beta cell therapies or therapies that restore the ability to produce insulin by either replacing or regenerating insulin producing cells. Research funded will address the challenges of developing replenishable sources of islet cells for transplantation and discovering new targets and pathways to regenerate endogenous beta cells in the body.

“This partnership is an exciting opportunity to support innovative research to overcome some of the main hurdles we face in type 1 diabetes research today,” said Dr. Richard Insel, Chief Scientific Officer for JDRF. “JDRF has been a long-time supporter of type 1 diabetes research in Israel. With this program, we look to extend and build on these efforts and recruit more scientific talent from Israel to the field and help accelerate progress toward our goal of a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications.”

“Strengthening biomedical and clinical research in Israel has become a high priority issue for ISF over the past several years,” said Professor Benny Geiger, Chair of Israel Science Foundation’s academic board. “We are delighted to see our partnership with JDRF become a reality, and would like to thank our colleagues at JDRF International and JDRF Israel for their continued support. This joint program with JDRF, which builds on a recent biomedical initiative with the Legacy Heritage Fund, acknowledges the outstanding research capabilities of Israeli scientists in the field of type 1 diabetes and is an important step toward bringing us closer to a cure for the disease.”

“JDRF Israel is proud to have initiated and managed this partnership with ISF, which will continue to put Israeli scientists at the forefront of diabetes research and to make contributions that will help bring about an end to type 1 diabetes,” said Ishay Eilat, Chairperson of JDRF Israel.

Commitments for new research projects will be awarded in each of the next three years with the first round of pre-proposals due by November 1, 2010 and the full applications due on February 1, 2011. For additional details regarding eligibility and procedures, visit the ISF website (www.isf.org.il) the JDRF website (www.jdrf.org) or the JDRF Israel site (www.jdrf.org.il).

About JDRF

JDRF is the worldwide leader for research to cure type 1 diabetes. It sets the global agenda for diabetes research, and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of diabetes science worldwide.

The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that strikes children and adults suddenly, and can be fatal. Until a cure is found, people with type 1 diabetes have to test their blood sugar and give themselves insulin injections multiple times or use a pump – each day, every day of their lives. And even with that intensive care, insulin is not a cure for diabetes, nor does it prevent its eventual and devastating complications, which may include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and amputation.

Since its founding in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, JDRF has awarded more than $1.3 billion to worldwide diabetes research, including more than $107 million last year. For more information, call 1-800-533-CURE (1-800-533-2873) or visit www.jdrf.org.

About JDRF Israel

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in Israel was established in 1981, as an affiliate of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRFI). Like JDRFI, JDRF Israel was established by a group of parents to children with Type 1 Diabetes, who dedicate their lives to the mission of finding a cure for their children. JDRF Israel has joined the JDRFI worldwide campaign to accelerate the pace to find cure through the support of research.

About ISF

The Israel Science Foundation (ISF) is Israel’s predominant source of competitive grants funding basic research. Its mission is to initiate research programs, evaluate, select and support Israeli basic research through competitive grants based on excellence and scientific merit within the wide range of fields, including Life Sciences and Medicine, Exact Sciences and technology and Social Sciences and Humanities. Most funds (about 90%) are provided by the Government of Israel via the Planning and Budgeting Committee (PBC) of the Israel Council for Higher Education (CHE). The rest comes from donations. Its roughly $80 million annual budget funds more than 1,500 grants a year, in its various programs. More information about the ISF can be found on: www.isf.org.il