JDRF and the University of Alberta work to one day make insulin injections a thing of the past

JDRF Canada awards $824,164 (USD) to Dr. Gregory Korbutt to explore new devices that will improve survival of transplanted insulin-producing (islet) cells used to treat type 1 diabetes (T1D) 

EDMONTON – September 27, 2016 - JDRF and the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry are pleased to announce further research to improve transplant procedures for human islet (insulin-producing) cells, so people with type 1 diabetes can one day live injection-free.

 Dr. Gregory Korbutt, a professor of surgery at the U of A, in collaboration with Dr. Carlo Montemagno, director of the University of Alberta’s Ingenuity Lab, has been awarded $824,164 (USD) to perfect his new “scaffold” used in transplants, which will help create a more hospitable environment for the islet cells, ensuring they survive longer.  

Designed to create ideal blood flow conditions in the body, this unique scaffold will protect the implanted islets and provide them with enough oxygen to stimulate insulin production. The scaffold also allows for the delivery of immune-suppressant drugs to protect against transplant rejection.  

“This research represents a critical step forward in viable transplant treatments that will greatly improve the lives of people living with type 1 diabetes, by one day making daily insulin injections a thing of the past,” said Dave Prowten, President and CEO, JDRF Canada. “This team is well-positioned to rapidly transfer their findings to clinical trials.”

“Our group is the first to develop a new approach to functionalize a device that enables the incorporation of selected growth factors or other advantageous proteins,” said Dr. Korbutt, principal investigator, University of Alberta and an Alberta Diabetes Institute scholar. “With our scaffold we will be able to create a highly vascularized space that will allow long-term islet graft survival and function.”  


About JDRF Canada

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, regulatory influence, and a working plan to better treat, prevent, and eventually cure T1D. JDRF is the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. For more information, please visit jdrf.ca.

About the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry  

The Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta is a leader in educating and training exceptional practitioners and researchers of the highest international standards. The faculty’s mission is to advance health through excellence in teaching, research and patient care. It is home to one of the top 100 ranked medical schools in the world. For more information, please visit ualberta.ca/medicine.    

Lets turn type one into type none