JDRF and UHN's McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine use stem cells and a new implantable device to take us one step closer to finding a cure for type 1 diabetes

JDRF Canada awarded $722,350 (USD) to Dr. Nostro and her team at the University Health Network to explore new and innovative devices for the treatment of type 1 diabetes (T1D)

TORONTO – September 14, 2016 -- JDRF and UHN’s McEwen Centre are pleased to announce innovative research that will improve transplantation of insulin producing cells – a key step forward in finding a cure for T1D. Dr. Cristina Nostro has been awarded a grant for $722,350 (USD) to study and perfect a new implantable device that creates an ideal environment for the survival of transplanted insulin-producing stem cells. 

In type 1 diabetes the body’s own immune system attacks insulin-producing cells, resulting in a life-long dependence on insulin injections. Transplanting insulin-producing tissue has been an effective way to restore these beta cells that are under attack– increasing the likelihood of finding a possible cure for diabetes. But a shortage of donors and blood-flow limitations of the implants affect transplant success.

This research being conducted by Dr. Nostro and her team, Dr. Sara Vasconcelos and Dr. Derek van der Kooy, addresses both these factors by using stem cells to derive insulin-producing beta cells and then implanting those cells using a device that creates the ideal vascular conditions required for success.

“Over the past decade, discoveries in Dr. Nostro’s lab have led to enormous advancements in T1D research,” said Dave Prowten, President and CEO, JDRF Canada. “Research, like Dr. Nostro’s, offers the ability to generate insulin-producing cells in the lab and successfully transplant them – bringing us one step closer to finding a viable cure for diabetes.”

“This study is a key step towards creating a therapeutic product for T1D patients,” says Dr. Nostro, principal investigator, McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine. Thanks to the continued support of JDRF, we are able to continue to explore potential alternatives and solutions for the treatment and care of patients living with T1D.”


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.  

Media Contact:

Diana Buccella
National Communications Specialist
[email protected]

About the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine

The McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine was founded in 2003 and opened its doors in 2006. The McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine, part of Toronto-based University Health Network, is a world leading centre for stem cell research, facilitating collaboration between renowned scientists from 5 major hospitals in Toronto, the University of Toronto and around the world. Supported by philanthropic contributions and research grants, McEwen Centre scientists strive to introduce novel regenerative therapies for debilitating and life threatening illnesses including heart disease, spinal cord injury, diabetes, diseases of the blood, liver and arthritis. www.mcewencentre.com


Lets turn type one into type none