Pathway to Stop Diabetes: The American Diabetes Association’s Bold New Research Initiative

Chicago,
June 23, 2013

In an effort to spur the nation's most creative thinkers into finding innovative ways to thwart the epidemic spread of diabetes, this year, the American Diabetes Association will begin to award research grants under its newly created Pathway to Stop Diabetes program. With nearly 26 million adults and children in the U.S. living with diabetes, and another 79 million living with prediabetes, this disease has become a staggering health burden both in the U.S. and around the world. Though much is known about treatment and prevention, those numbers continue to grow rapidly and research remains severely underfunded.

"It's time to put the nation’s best and most creative minds to work on this problem, to develop truly innovative research approaches," said Robert E. Ratner, MD, FACP, FACE, Chief Scientific & Medical Officer of the American Diabetes Association, which created the Pathway to Stop Diabetes funding program last year and is now accepting nominations for grant awards. "The Pathway program aims to fund a minimum of 100 diabetes researchers over the next 10 years, providing the crucial support needed for individuals focusing on innovative and transformational approaches to diabetes research.

The American Diabetes Association will leave no stone unturned in our quest to Stop Diabetes®," said Ratner. "The time to act is now and through the Association's Pathway to Stop Diabetes program, we will be backing the best and the brightest researchers who will work to discover prevention methods, treatment options and ultimately, a cure for this deadly disease."

The initial call for nominations from accredited U.S. academic and nonprofit research institutions is open until August 16, 2013. The program is being launched with more than $7 million in generous gifts from individuals and $20 million in founding corporate support from Sanofi, Novo Nordisk Inc., and the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation. The awards will each provide $1.625 million in support for five to seven years for investigators proposing research relevant to any diabetes type, diabetes-related disease state or diabetes complication.

Pathway scientists will be selected by a Mentor Advisory Group—scientists who will identify candidates with the core elements for exceptional science: rigorous thought processes, keen intellect, and the capacity for innovation and creativity. In addition to participating in the selection process, the Mentor Advisors will provide ongoing scientific and career advice to Pathway scientists throughout the duration of the awards, creating a challenging environment in which transformative science will thrive. Pathway will also provide scientists with networks for communication and collaboration; special symposia and speaking engagements; and unique collaborative opportunities that will accelerate the advancement and translation of their science, and lead to breakthrough discoveries.

"Through Pathway to Stop Diabetes, the Association is hoping to stimulate the new, young scientists and established scientists in other fields, to work on this problem," said C. Ronald Kahn, MD, and Chair of the Mentor Advisory Group. "We hope the call for nominations has a broad reach that includes innovative thinkers of all kinds – whether they are engineers, mathematicians, chemists or biologists. Unlike other research grant programs, Pathway will focus on the researchers themselves, not just the topic of research, in order to encourage and advance the work of the most creative minds."

Materials and more detailed information for nominating institutions and interested investigators can be found at diabetes.org/pathway.

About the American Diabetes Association

Nearly half of American adults have diabetes or prediabetes; more than 30 million adults and children have diabetes; and every 21 seconds, another individual is diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization whose mission is to prevent and cure diabetes, and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. The ADA drives discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, as well as to search for cures; raises voice to the urgency of the diabetes epidemic; and works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with diabetes. In addition, the ADA supports people living with diabetes, those at risk of developing diabetes, and the health care professionals who serve them through information and programs that can improve health outcomes and quality of life. For more information, please call the ADA at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit diabetes.org. Information from both of these sources is available in English and Spanish. Find us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn)