ANU wins $1.5 million grant for Type 1 Diabetes research

15 February 2017

ANU researchers have won a $1.5 million Innovation Award grant for type 1 diabetes research.

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham announced ANU as one of three projects to receive $4.5 million from the Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network, run by Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and funded by the Australian Government. 

Chief investigator, Associate Professor Charmaine Simeonovic from The John Curtin School of Medical Research, said the funding would help the team work towards identifying if a new drug developed by the team could be used for treating type 1 diabetes.

"The funding brings together scientists, clinicians and technical officers who work in type 1 diabetes with specialists from other disciplines," she said.

"This range of expertise will allow us to tackle this project efficiently."

Associate Professor Simeonovic, leader of the Simeonovic Group in Diabetes and Transplantation Immunology at JCSMR, said 120,000 Australians were living with type 1 diabetes, but there was no current therapy to prevent its progression.

"With this funding we will be able to make enormous progress towards a new treatment for this disease which otherwise has debilitating serious complications in the long-term," she said.

Senator Birmingham said the funding was about ensuring no stone was left unturned in the search for a cure for type 1 diabetes.

"The Innovation Award grants encourage creativity and new ways of thinking and nurture and support those smart ideas to help create a better future for Australians, including those with type 1 diabetes and their families," he said.

The research team based at JCSMR and led by Associate Professor Simeonovic includes, Professor Christopher Parish, Associate Professor Elizabeth Gardiner, Dr Tony Lafferty from the Canberra Hospital and ANU, Dr Lucy Coupland, Debra Brown, Sarah Popp, Professor Beng Chong from University of New South Wales and St Georges Hospital and Dr Manuela Battaglia from Milan, Italy.