JDRF Declares New Middle of Excellence in New England to Advance Sort 1 Diabetes Analysis


NEW YORK, February 23, 2021 / PRNewswire / – JDRF, the world’s leading organization for funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, has partnered with the Harvard Stem Cell Institute to announce the launch of the JDRF center of excellence in New England.

Under the direction of the Co-Director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute Douglas Melton, Ph.D. and JDRF Research Associate Esther Latres, Ph.D., Vice President Research, the new center is an institutional collaboration between senior executives Massachusetts-based experts, including Michael Brehm, Ph.D. and Dale GreinerPh.D. of the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence UMass Medical School, and Stephan KisslerPh.D. at the Joslin Diabetes Center. The team will work closely with you Lenny Shultz, Ph.D., at Jackson Laboratory in Maine.

“Leveraging advances in stem cell research and genome editing, our team is excited to work together to solve the problem of beta cell immune rejection,” said Dr. Melton, Professor of Stem Cells and Regeneratives at Xander University Biology Harvard University. “We seek cell and genetic engineering that will allow cell transplantation to treat and potentially cure T1D.”

The New England Center of Excellence will focus on four main areas of beta cell replacement research including:

  • To develop reliable systems for studying the events of autoimmune attacks at the cellular and molecular level to reduce or eliminate these responses.
  • Develop a cell system that reproduces and amplifies the interactions between beta cells and immune cells in human T1D so that we can better judge the effectiveness of therapies.
  • Identify the various subsets of immune cells that target beta cells in order to apply this knowledge in developing strategies that will prevent the immune system from destroying beta cells.
  • Explore new technologies like gene editing to create stem cell-derived beta cells that can withstand immune attacks and use them in the development of cell replacement therapies.

“The time has come. In this unprecedented era of medical advancement, it is more important than ever that we use new innovations to accelerate the most promising areas of research for cures for type 1 diabetes,” he said Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., JDRF CEO. “We wholeheartedly believe in the leadership of Dr. Melton and Dr. Latres and are confident that the New England Center of Excellence will do groundbreaking work.”

Working with strategic partners around the world, JDRF is accelerating T1D healing through initiatives that encourage collaboration, stimulate innovation, utilize resources, and engage emerging talent. The JDRF Centers of Excellence reinforce these efforts and serve as the central pillars of the JDRF’s broader strategy to pursue cures for T1D.

“I’m really excited about the research that is planned at the JDRF Center of Excellence in New England. My own desire to find a cure is inspired by my mother, who has lived T1D for nearly 60 years. We have several of the researchers on this one JDRF Center Supports The JDRF Center of Excellence in New England inspires me and gives me tremendous optimism because it brings the brightest minds together with the entire JDRF ecosystem and has a laser-sharp focus on drug development, “he said John Cammett, Seed Funder, JDRF New England Competence Center.

The JDRF Center of Excellence in New England joins two nationally and internationally recognized research partners at the JDRF Centers of Excellence in New England Northern California and the University of Michigan focused on advancing therapies and curing T1D. For more information on the JDRF Center of Excellence program, see https://www.jdrf.org/impact/research/centers-of-excellence/.

For more information on the JDRF New England Competence Center, please visit http://jdrf.org/impact/research/centers-of-excellence/new-england/.

About JDRF

JDRF’s mission is to accelerate life changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent, and treat T1D and its complications. To achieve this, JDRF has more than invested $ 2.5 billion in research funding since our foundation. We are an organization built on a base model of people connecting in their local communities, working together regionally for efficiency and a wider impact on fundraising, and joining together nationally for resources, passion and bundle energy. We work with academic institutions, policy makers, and business and industrial partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies for people with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout The United States and our five international member organizations are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world free of T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow us on Twitter (@JDRF), Facebook (@myjdrf) and Instagram (@jdrfhq).

Via the Harvard Stem Cell Institute

The Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI), founded in 2004, brings together more than 1,000 scientists in schools and affiliated hospitals Harvard University. Its mission is to advance understanding of human development and disease, support the discovery of stem cell-based therapies and cures for disease, create collaborations across traditional institutional and disciplinary boundaries, and educate the next generation of stem cell scientists. The HSCI funds novel research and promotes cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral collaboration to accelerate discoveries that benefit humankind. Visit hsci.harvard.edu to learn more.

about UMass Medical School and the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence

The University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS), the first and only public center for academic health sciences in the Commonwealth, with the aim of promoting the health and wellbeing of our diverse communities in all areas Massachusetts and around the world through leading and innovative products in education, research, health care, and public service. Find out more at umassmed.edu. Co-led by David M. Harlan, MD and Dale L. GreinerThe UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence combines cutting-edge diabetes research with the latest in comprehensive patient care. Visit umassmed.edu/dcoe to learn more.

About the Joslin Diabetes Center

The Joslin Diabetes Center is world renowned for its extensive expertise in the treatment and research of diabetes. Joslin’s goal is to find a cure for diabetes and to ensure that people with diabetes live long and healthy lives. We develop and distribute innovative patient therapies and scientific discoveries worldwide. Joslin is an independent, non-profit organization that is affiliated with Harvard Medical Schooland one of only 16 NIH-named diabetes research centers in the United States. More information is available at www.joslin.org.

Via the Jackson Laboratory

The Jackson Laboratory is an independent, not-for-profit biomedical research facility with more than 2,300 employees. Headquarters in Bar Harbor, MaineIt has a Cancer Center named by the National Cancer Institute, a genomic medical institute in Farmington, Conn.and facilities in Ellsworth and Augusta, Maine, in the Sacramento, California., and in Beijing and Shanghai, China. Its mission is to find precise genomic solutions to diseases and to empower the global biomedical community in the common pursuit of the improvement of human health. More information is available at www.jax.org.


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