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Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
158 × 95px
Founded 1970
Headquarters New York City, New York, US
Staff Alan J. Lewis, Chief Executive Officer and
Leo Mullin, Chairman of the Board
Area served international
Focus "To find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research."[1]
Method Research funding, Public policy, and Education.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF) is the leading charitable funder and advocate of type 1 (juvenile) diabetes research worldwide. The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that strikes children and adults suddenly, and can be fatal. Until a cure is found, people with type 1 diabetes have to test their blood sugar and give themselves multiple insulin injections or use a pump — every day of their lives. And even with that intensive care, insulin is not a cure for diabetes, nor does it prevent its eventual and devastating complications, which may include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and amputation.

Since its founding in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, JDRF has awarded more than $1.3 billion to diabetes research, including more than $156 million in FY2008. In FY2008, the Foundation funded more than 1,000 centers, grants in laboratories, hospitals, and industry, and fellowships in 22 countries.

JDRF volunteers have a personal connection to type 1 diabetes, which translates into an unrelenting commitment to finding a cure. These volunteers are the driving force behind more than 100 locations worldwide that raise money and advocate for government spending for type 1 diabetes research.


Fundraising and advocacy

JDRF's largest fundraising event is the national Walk to Cure Diabetes: Events are held across the country to raise awareness about type 1 diabetes and raise funds to be put toward research.

JDRF's Children Congress is its premier advocacy event and is held every two years in Washington D.C. Children ranging from age 4 to 17 are selected from each state to become their state's delegate while in Washington D.C. More information is available at


Currently, the organization has five therapeutic research targets:

Autoimmunity: A key part of JDRF's research is aimed at stopping or reversing the immune system response that causes diabetes: the attack on insulin-secreting cells in the pancreas. This attack must be stopped so that any therapies involving replacing or regenerating insulin-producing cells can work long-term.[2]

Regeneration: Among the fastest-growing scientific areas JDRF supports is research aimed at regenerating insulin producing cells in people who have diabetes (as opposed to transplanting cells from organ donors or other sources). This involves triggering the body to grow its own new insulin-producing cells, either by copying existing ones — some are usually still active, even in people who have had diabetes for decades — or causing the pancreas to create new ones.[3]

Replacement: An alternative to sparking the body into growing new insulin-producing cells is replacing cells killed off by diabetes with functioning ones from a donor — similar to a heart or kidney transplant. Beyond improving transplantation techniques, our research is focused on increasing the supply of cells that can be transplanted from animals, like pigs; or by finding ways to change different types of cells, such as liver cells; or coaxing adult or embryonic stem cells into becoming insulin-producing cells.[4]

Complications: A significant part of JDRF's research is focused on understanding how diabetes causes complications and developing drugs, treatments, and therapies to stop that process, or reverse the impact of the different types of individual complications. Diabetes-related complications include eye disease, nerve damage, kidney disease, and heart disease and stroke.[5]

Metabolic control: Treatments that continually monitor the body's blood sugar levels and automatically respond with the correct dose of insulin would significantly enhance metabolic control. JDRF research is focused on demonstrating that advanced monitoring tools improves the health of people with diabetes and on developing technologies that link insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors. Such a "closed loop" system would, in effect, be an artificial pancreas.[6]

In addition to these therapeutic research targets, JDRF has developed human clinical trials in an effort to further the search for a cure. Human clinical trials are the final phase of research done before a new drug or treatment is approved for the market. Many tests are conducted before the clinical trial stage to determine whether potential treatments are appropriate for testing in people. It is through clinical trials that new drugs, therapies and, ultimately, a cure for type 1 diabetes will be discovered.[7]

Social networking

JDRF launched a new social network for people with type 1 diabetes in November 2008. The site, called Juvenation, has more than 6,500 active members and will celebrate its first birthday on World Diabetes Day, November 14, 2009.

Locations, tax status, and spokesperson

The JDRF International is headquartered in New York City, at 120 Wall Street. There are JDRF affiliates in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation. Its international spokesperson is Mary Tyler Moore, also a type 1 diabetic[8], who appears in public service announcements for the organization.


External links



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