The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust has announced a three-year, $26 million grant to the Jaeb Center for Health Research in Tampa, Florida, for the development of a Type 1 diabetes exchange.
The exchange will include a data repository with longitudinal patient data collected from clinical centers, a biobank for well-characterized patient samples, and an interactive Web site with mobile capability for researchers, clinicians, and patients to capture, share, and evaluate data. Funded through the trust's T1D program, the grant was awarded to help develop a better understanding of Type 1 diabetes — also known as juvenile diabetes — and accelerate new therapies for the disease.
The first stage of the project involved putting together a network of more than fifty clinical centers — including university- and community-based sites — that are caring for people with Type 1 diabetes across the country. The network will work to foster the rapid development and dissemination of studies designed to improve the care and lives of people with the disease, while the patient population and datasets will be expanded through the exchange.
"We spent more than a year surveying the Type 1 community to identify challenges and unmet needs," said Dana Ball, program director of the Helmsley T1D Program. "The idea to start a large-scale exchange came out of that learning experience. This will be a cornerstone project for the trust and for the entire Type 1 diabetes community."