ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 3, 2015 -- With nearly 30 million adults and children in the U.S. living with diabetes, and another 86 million living with prediabetes, diabetes is a physical and financial burden for the health of the nation. To accelerate the research needed to discover solutions and end this deadly epidemic, the American Diabetes Association's bold initiative, Pathway to Stop Diabetes, will fund 100 new diabetes researchers over the next decade. Today, the Association announced the 2015 call for nominations.
"If current trends continue, one in three American adults will have diabetes by 2050. Diabetes is a leading cause of heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and amputations in adults. The acceleration in disease development underscores the urgent need for groundbreaking research to discover breakthroughs in the prevention and treatment of diabetes, as well as for cures," said Karen Talmadge, PhD, Vice Chair, American Diabetes Association Research Foundation Board of Directors, and Chair, Pathway to Stop Diabetes Campaign. "We are pleased to announce our second call for nominations to the American Diabetes Association's Pathway to Stop Diabetes. This innovative program aims to Stop Diabetes® by bringing brilliant scientists into the field of diabetes research, providing them with significant financial and other forms of support to allow breakthroughs for people with, and at risk of, diabetes."
With more than $35 million in generous gifts from individuals, foundations and corporations, including program sponsors Sanofi, Novo Nordisk, AstraZeneca and the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, the prestigious Pathway award nominees are selected through internal competition at U.S. academic and nonprofit research institutions that identify and nominate their most creative and talented scientists. The Association is seeking nominations for creative scientists who are just starting their careers in diabetes research, or who are already established in another field but want to expand their focus to diabetes research. Nominations for scientists from a broad range of disciplines, including medicine, biology, chemistry, engineering, physics and mathematics, are encouraged.
"Diabetes continues to be one of the most challenging health problems faced by this country, and in order to tackle this massive challenge, innovative approaches to prevention, detection and treatment are needed," said Todd Hobbs, Chief Medical Officer, Novo Nordisk Inc. "As a company dedicated to defeating diabetes, we are proud to support promising researchers through the Pathway to Stop Diabetes program."
Pathway awards will provide $1.625 million in support for five to seven years for investigators proposing research relevant to any diabetes type, diabetes-related disease state or diabetes complication. Institutions may nominate a maximum of one candidate per annual cycle. Materials and more detailed information for nominating institutions and interested investigators can be found at diabetes.org/pathway.
"Diabetes treatments and solutions have advanced over the years," said Sherry Martin, MD, Vice President, Lilly Diabetes Medicines Development Unit. "People with diabetes have many more options available to them, including long-acting medications and easier delivery systems. None of that would have been possible without valuable research from dedicated scientists. Lilly is pleased to support the American Diabetes Association and the Pathway researchers in their efforts to find future innovative solutions."
Pathway scientists will be selected by a Mentor Advisory Group—eminent scientists who will identify candidates with the core elements for exceptional science: rigorous thought processes, keen intellect, and the capacity for innovation and creativity. In addition to participating in the selection process, the Mentor Advisors will provide ongoing scientific and career advice to Pathway scientists throughout the duration of the awards, creating a challenging environment in which transformative science will thrive.
"AstraZeneca is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of science to discover life-changing medicines for people with diabetes," said Topher Brooke, Vice President, U.S. Diabetes, AstraZeneca. "We are a committed partner of the American Diabetes Association and support the Pathway to Stop Diabetes awards, which recognize and cultivate researchers working to address the unmet medical needs of diabetes patients at different stages of the disease."
In addition to substantial financial support and mentorship, Pathway will provide scientists with networks for communication and collaboration; special symposia and speaking engagements; and unique collaborative opportunities that will accelerate the advancement and translation of their science, leading to breakthrough discoveries.
"Pathway to Stop Diabetes is instrumental in encouraging new scientists to seek research in diabetes along with novel approaches to the management of diabetes," said Andrew Purcell, Vice President and Head of the U.S. Diabetes Business Unit, Sanofi US. "Sanofi is committed to helping people living with diabetes and encourages eligible scientists to apply for this outstanding program to help discover the next generation of innovative solutions."
The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes® and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.