JDRF Mourns the Loss of Dr. John C. Hutton, Leading Diabetes Researcher
December 20, 2012
The JDRF family is deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague and friend, Professor John Hutton, Ph.D., who passed away on December 17th. Dr. Hutton was a highly respected and influential researcher in the field of autoimmunity and diabetes.
Dr. Hutton received his undergraduate and graduate education at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia and subsequently did postdoctoral research at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium. He held several research positions in Europe and the United States before joining the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver, CO, as the director of research.
Dr. Hutton had a long-standing interest in the molecular cell biology of insulin secretion and the biochemical composition and the process of formation of the insulin storage granule in the pancreatic islet. Many insulin granule proteins are autoantigens in type 1 diabetes (T1D), and he focused on these as molecular targets of the T-cells as part of the autoimmune process. In particular, he made some landmark contributions in his discovery and characterization of two major targets of autoimmunity leading to T1D, IA-2 and ZnT8.
He worked tirelessly to translate these findings into novel therapeutic agents to halt or reverse autoimmunity in diabetes.
In 2008, JDRF established a JDRF Autoimmunity Center at the Barbara Davis Center with Dr. Hutton as the director of the new center. This new center was built on the key research finding of Dr. Hutton and made significant progress in translating his work into novel antigen-specific approaches to predict, prevent, and reverse T1D.
A key focus for the center was investigating the autoantigen ZnT8-the new autoantigen discovered by Dr. Hutton that is specifically recognized by an antibody in human blood that helps more accurately predict who is predisposed to T1D.
JDRF is grateful for the significant contributions Dr. Hutton has made to diabetes research. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to Dr. Hutton's family, friends, colleagues, and students during this difficult time.
JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents, and adults with this disease, JDRF is now the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. The goal of JDRF research is to improve the lives of all people affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners who share this goal.
Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.7 billion to diabetes research. Past JDRF efforts have helped to significantly advance the care of people with this disease, and have expanded the critical scientific understanding of T1D. JDRF will not rest until T1D is fully conquered.