DRC & Research News

This page shares the latest news in T1D research and DRC’s community.

Get the most recent diabetes research news, delivered straight to your inbox

2019 Year in Review

With the generosity of our supporters, we funded seven innovative, peer-reviewed type 1 diabetes (T1D) projects, bringing the total to 24, and have several others in the pipeline that will go live on our website in early 2020. We are incredibly proud to share that one of our sponsored early-career scientists, Peter Thompson, Ph.D., is starting his own lab in Canada to further develop a significant breakthrough that may prevent T1D.

One of our new Scientific Review Committee (SRC) members, Holger Russ, Ph.D., from the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes at the University of Colorado shared a note that sums up the past year for us, “Congratulations on the record number of submissions, word is spreading, attesting to your great work funding important projects driven by junior investigators in the T1D space.”

Our 225 supporters partner with us in giving of their time, energy and resources and we couldn’t be more grateful for everything they gave in 2019. Our 10 Blue Circle Members, including the first-ever named research project funded by the Tarson Family, joined us this past year to ensure sustainable funding for DRC.

Below are some highlights from 2019:

In January, A Sweet Life: The Diabetes Magazine, recognized one of our new projects as one of the 6 Diabetes Research Studies to Watch in 2019, Marika Bogdani, MD, Ph.D., of the Benaroya Research Institute’s project, “Offensive ‘Blocking’ to Defeat T1D Before it Strikes!” This project seeks to uncover changes taking place in human islets that will indicate how to block diabetes before at-risk patients begin to exhibit symptoms.

Several of our partners hosted fundraisers in March. ‘Harrigan’s Hooligans against Diabetes’ hosted a St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser in Chicago at an Irish pub and one of our favorite local Italian restaurants, Il Fornaio, gave back a portion of sales from one evening to support new T1D research.

We hosted our first ever Ladies Night in April. Women gathered to share their stories of life with or caring for someone with T1D. “I left that night with fresh hope in finding a cure and new energy to work together to achieve this.”

In May, the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation hosted a “Meet the Researchers” event where Peter Thompson, Ph.D., shared an exciting update about the research he’s been doing and the possibility of finding a way to prevent T1D.

In June, Youjia Hu, Ph.D., at the Yale University Diabetes Center, provided an update for his project, A Bacteria in the Gut May Predict T1D. “Our results not only support the recent findings by other investigators using fecal samples but also our results support our hypothesis that oral microbiota might be used as a predictive biomarker for human T1D. We are currently further analyzing the sequencing data (~3 million) and we are confident that we will have interesting findings in the next progress report.”

In July, we funded several new projects: A Safe and Cost-Effective Stem Cell Approach for Treating Diabetes, Haisong Liu, Ph.D., at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies; Looking Beyond Beta Cells for Management of T1D, Camila Lubaczeuski, Ph.D. at the University Of Miami; Mice to Men, YongKyung Kim, Ph.D., at the University Of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Barbara Davis Center For Diabetes.

The 2nd annual Del Mar Dance for Diabetes was in September. Over 350 people joined us in connecting for a cure and we raised nearly $400,000! Guests enjoyed the food, music, drinks, silent auction and dancing under the stars at the silent dance party.

In November, we partnered with Tiffany and Philip Rivers in the Change the Game campaign. Tiffany and Philip Rivers’ eldest son, Gunner, was diagnosed with T1D when he was just five years old. The Change the Game campaign raised funds for JDRF, Insulin for Life and DRC and helped raise awareness during National Diabetes Awareness Month.

In December, we completed our $1M research campaign by distributing $1M to new T1D research projects. We had a record number of submissions and will be posting the approved projects on our website soon. Check back to see the innovative projects approved in 2019 by our esteemed SRC. Our Co-Founder and Chair of the Board, David Winkler, spoke at the STEAM Leadership “Diabetes Day” at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. The event focused on educating and empowering high school students from San Diego, including Southeastern San Diego, around healthy living and future careers in research. Click here to watch David’s speech.

We are committed to funding innovative scientific inquiry until diabetes is eliminated and 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!


Learn More +

2018 Year in Review

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!



Learn More +

Unlimited access to all the essential project updates latest diabetes research news, and more.