Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation logoDedicated to Finding a Cure

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF) is the leading charitable funder and advocate of juvenile (type 1) diabetes research worldwide.  JDRF is a not-for-profit organization exempt from Federal income taxes under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research, including research on stem cells. Stem cells have the ability to grow into any other type of cell, and could potentially grow into insulin-producing islets. These islets could then be transplanted into someone with juvenile (type 1) diabetes and potentially cure the disease.

In Fiscal Year 2007, JDRF provided $137 million to fund type 1 diabetes research. Whilst there is no specific budget dedicated to stem cell research, in 2007 JDRF provided more than $7 million to support human and animal stem cell research, including more than $2.5 million on human embryonic stem cell research. In Fiscal Year 2008, JDRF provided more than $156 million to fund type 1 diabetes research.

JDRF stem cell strategy

Research should be vigorously pursued on both adult and embryonic stem cells. If there is one point on which virtually all stem cell scientists agree, it is that much more needs to be learned about how stem cells work in order to use them most effectively. Researchers have only begun to understand how the body grows and repairs itself, and increasing this knowledge base is necessary to achieving the full potential of stem cells. JDRF emphasizes work related to differentiating stem cells into insulin secreting cells that can be used for therapy in type 1 diabetes to replace pancreatic beta cell function.