Dr. Tim Kieffer receives funding through the JDRF-CIHR Partnership to Defeat Diabetes

The LSI’s Dr. Tim Kieffer was recently awarded funding for a project, “Designing stem cell-derived islets for diabetes therapy” through the JDRF-CIHR Partnership to Defeat Diabetes, a joint investment by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Diabetes Canada, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Canada. The funding for Dr. Kieffer’s project, along with a second funded project by Dr. Patrick MacDonald at the University of Alberta, will provide a total of $4 million over five years to accelerate diabetes research.

Description of Dr. Kieffer’s Project

(from the Diabetes Canada website)

Breakthroughs have been made in understanding the process by which islet cells develop naturally in the body. As a result, it is now possible to replicate many steps of this process in the laboratory with cultured stem cells, resulting in insulin-producing cells. Such cells are already being tested in clinical trials, with promising results, but much work remains to be done before islet replacement therapy is readily available in the clinic. In this project, a multidisciplinary team led by Dr. Timothy Kieffer, Professor at the University of British Columbia, aims to significantly improve upon the manufacturing of islet cells to achieve more robust insulin delivery, with a focus on mass-producing stem cell-derived islet cells.

Dr. Kieffer: “We are very excited by the potential for stem cell derived islets to provide a source of regulated insulin in patients living with diabetes and are extremely grateful for this funding support by JDRF, CIHR, and Diabetes Canada to enable our efforts to accelerate the development of this approach.”

This story is adapted from a press release by JDRF Canada and Diabetes Canada on Jan 25, here.