Producing your own insulin doesn’t require a second thought

Imagine a future where your body produces insulin and type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a distant memory.

Why it matters

Today, a T1D diagnosis means living with the challenges of insulin therapy and the knowledge that your average life expectancy is shorter than that of someone without T1D. JDRF wants to change that reality by developing therapies that improve life expectancy and quality of life for people with T1D. That’s why we devote a large portion of our research funding to our Restoration Program. Its aim: restore the body’s ability to create insulin-producing islets and prevent the immune system from attacking and destroying those cells.

When we achieve that goal, a diagnosis of T1D will no longer mean a lifetime with the disease and all the burdens that it carries. Instead, it will be a manageable and ultimately reversible illness without the threat of long- and short-term complications.

Our pioneering research

For more than a decade, JDRF has funded studies to unravel the mysteries of T1D and develop therapeutic interventions to bring the body back to normal after the disease strikes. Each one has added to our understanding of what’s necessary to stop the immune system from destroying insulin-producing islets cells, keep these cells healthy and functional, and restore the body’s normal ability to produce insulin.

Researchers have already shown that the body has the ability to increase insulin production in women with T1D during pregnancy. Now we’re investigating several promising therapeutic strategies, including drugs that form new beta cells, reprogram other cells in the body to become insulin-producing cells and prevent or reverse the loss of beta cell function. Our scientists have also made progress in understanding the mechanisms of the autoimmune attack that causes T1D, opening the way to new immune therapies that will stop the disease in its tracks. JDRF-supported research is leading to the development of a new generation of immune therapies that specifically target the defective components in T1D, leaving the rest of the immune system intact. These and other discoveries have brought us closer to a cure than we imagined a decade ago, and we won’t stop until we find one.


We're not just imagining a world without T1D. We're making it happen.

JDRF scientists

Meet the experts leading restoration research.

  • Andrew Rakeman, Ph.D.

    Andrew Rakeman, Ph.D.

    Andrew Rakeman is director of discovery research. He focuses on islet cell regeneration and immune therapies.

    Andrew Rakeman, Ph.D.

  • Sanjoy Dutta, Ph.D.

    Sanjoy Dutta, Ph.D.

    Sanjoy Dutta is associate vice president, translational development for JDRF, where he focuses on managing and developing glucose control research.

    Sanjoy Dutta, 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.