This year marked several important milestones and has been a time of growth. With the generosity of our supporters, we funded five innovative, peer-reviewed type 1 diabetes (T1D) projects, bringing the total to 17. Our sponsored early-career scientists developed data to show beginnings of proof of principle concepts that in turn precipitated substantial additional grants and publish their work in diabetes journals.
We’re committed to keeping our community updated, below are some highlights from 2018.
January was an exciting month, we launched our 13th project, Jane Kim, M.D., UCSD/Rady Children’s Hospital, What Type of Type 1 Diabetes Does Your Child Have?; our 14th project, Youjia Hu, Ph.D., Yale University Diabetes Center, A Bacteria in the Gut May Predict Type 1 Diabetes; our 15th project, Tamara Oser, M.D., Penn State College of Medicine, Using Technology to Improve Diabetes Self-Management; and our 16th project, Haisong Liu, Ph.D., Salk Institute for Biological Studies, A Safe and Cost-Effective Stem Cell Approach for Treating Diabetes.
In February, Peter Thompson, Ph.D., completed his DRC project and received a more substantial grant with funds up to 3 years from the Hillblom Foundation. The results obtained from the DRC project allowed him to secure additional funding which is exactly the purpose of DRC and why it’s important to continue building a pipeline of new T1D researchers.
The results continued In April. Jeremy Racine, Ph.D., completed his DRC project and publishes results in Diabetes. His research created a better animal model to study immune responses to beta cell transplants in T1D for the entire diabetes research field. The new mouse model from this study is now being used by others in T1D research because it better represents the diverse T1D population.
In May, there was standing room only at an event we hosted with the Jewish Community Foundation. Over 50 people heard Dr. John Glass, Dr. Duc Dong and Dr. CC. King share information on the latest scientific breakthroughs in T1D research. For those that took advantage of the lab tour, they felt hopeful after seeing tangible results in the lab!
We announced our partnership with Greater Than in June. Together, we created a fashionably-forward T1D t-shirt collection for our monthly supporters. All funds raised through the DRC Collection go to support early-career T1D researchers, 100% of funds raised go directly to the scientists.
In July, we ran our first social media contest. Stories were sent in from our 3,676 followers on Instagram and 23,631 followers on Facebook. The winning story was featured at our 1st annual event in September.
Joseph Lancman, Ph.D., completed his DRC project in August. His research enhanced the activity and the delivery of two transcription factors to significantly increase the efficiency of triggering an early endoderm like identity in muscle cells that remain in an animal’s body. Because of this key advance, his lab is positioned now to take advantage of cutting-edge technology that will advance his T1D research. Dr. Lancman produced a manuscript with his research results and submitted it to a top tier journal.
We hosted our 1st annual Del Mar Dance for Diabetes in September. There were 250 people who joined us in connecting for a cure and helped us raise over $350,000 for innovative T1D research. Guests enjoyed the food, music, drinks, silent auction and dancing under the stars at the silent dance party.
In October, Yo Suzuki, Ph.D., gains proof of concept through his DRC-sponsored research project and secures additional funding in the amount of $1.2M from a prestigious Foundation to continue his work. Dr. Suzuki is another example of how DRC and its supporters are building a pipeline of promising, new T1D researchers that are expanding the field of diabetes research.
We added a full-time member to our team at DRC in November, Casey Davis, Director of Development. We also launched our 17th research project, Marika Bogdani, MD, Ph.D., Benaroya Research Institute, Offensive “Blocking” to Defeat T1D Before it Strikes!
In December, we reached a few milestones. Our online community grew to over 30,000 and we doubled the number of financial supporters in 2018. On Facebook this year, 35 people created fundraising campaigns and helped us raised nearly $7,000. Due to the success of our fundraising efforts all year-long, we were able to fund the five projects launched this year, bringing the total to 17 new T1D research projects.
This past year was important for moving research forward and adding to the field of diabetes. We could not do what we do without the continued support of our community. Thank you for being a part of the DRC family.
It takes a community to connect for a cure!