Millions of children and adults struggle with type 1 diabetes. Despite this, funding for research has decreased. Our mission is to connect donors with scientists enabling them to perform peer-reviewed research that will prevent and cure type 1 diabetes, minimize its complications and improve the quality of life for those living with the disease and their loved ones.
Consider Autumn, a woman in her mid-20s who was diagnosed at the age of nine. Every day she is carefully balancing her blood sugar. She wears an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor. Both are more convenient than shots, but she still has to check her blood sugar 3-4 times per day to make sure she’s in control. She’s been hospitalized for diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition where the body produces excess blood acid, which can quickly become fatal if not treated. Diabetes doesn't just affect her - her family, friends, and coworkers have to be aware of potential problems and how to treat them.
Diabetes Research Connection helps raise funding for research projects in order to improve the quality of life for children and adults with type 1 diabetes like Autumn. Since 2014, we’ve funded seven research projects and raised more than $400,000 to eradicate the disease.
Unfortunately, though, scientific research is expensive.
Just consumable supplies, such as petri dishes, pipettes, and reactants can cost more than $20,000. This number only increases with the number of people in the lab and the cost of more specialized supplies. For example, the cost of insulin is around $500, and that’s for a little less than a thimble-full of the solution. Even the water used in research is expensive, as it must be processed to a very high purity level before it can be used. On top of this, labs must have the equipment and instruments needed to conduct the research, and these often come with costly maintenance and service contracts.
In addition to these high costs, it’s hard for research labs to find funding to cover them. For example, in the 2015 fiscal year, National Institutes of Health agencies were only able to fund 18.3% of grant applications they reviewed. Receiving grant money is a drawn out process, with it often taking a year or more from submitting an application to beginning to receive funding. Of the funding available for type 1 diabetes research projects, 97% goes to established scientists.
For this reason, although scientific breakthroughs often emerge due to the inventiveness of early-career scientists, many exciting ideas for diabetes research simply can’t get off the ground - until now.
Diabetes Research Connection grants up to $50,000 to support each research project. Scientists throughout the United States submit their projects through our website, and these projects are reviewed by more than 80 of the leading diabetes experts for innovation, value and feasibility. For accepted projects, the time from application to funding can be as short as 12 weeks.
Throughout history, many scientific breakthroughs have emerged from early-career scientists; consider Frederick Banting and Charles Best, who discovered insulin before the age of 33. Your support of type 1 diabetes research by early-career scientists may very well be the key to unlocking the diabetes puzzle that plagues millions in America and beyond.