On World Diabetes Day 2017, Australian Minister for Health the Hon Greg Hunt MP announced a five year $9.5 million collaborative program grant to be funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

This money will support clinical and laboratory research at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI), St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research and The Westmead Institute for Medical Research to develop screening tests for type 1 diabetes in young children and potential early interventions.

ENDIA Study investigator and clinical scientist, Professor Len Harrison from WEHI and the Royal Melbourne Hospital, is involved in this collaboration to make considerable discoveries about the development of type 1 diabetes. “We now have a system in place that allows us to screen at-risk children in their first three years of life, and predict 90 per cent of those who will develop type 1 diabetes by adolescence,” Professor Harrison said. “The new funding allows us to build on discoveries from large population studies, in particular the ENDIA Study looking at environmental factors impacting the development of type 1 diabetes.”

Professor Andrew Lew, also a researcher based at WEHI, said that a greater understanding of who is at risk of developing type 1 diabetes will provide new opportunities to prevent this disease, or begin treatments early. “Our NHMRC program grant will investigate new therapies for people in early stages of type-1 diabetes, with a goal of preventing this disease before irreversible damage to the pancreas occurs,” Professor Lew said.

Professor Len Harrison (left) and Professor Andrew Lew (right)

Credit to: https://www.wehi.edu.au/news/world-diabetes-day-funding-boost-diabetes-research