University of Michigan receives $30 million for diabetes institute

University of Michigan receives $30 million for diabetes institute

The University of Michigan has announced a $30 million gift from alumnus and board member Ronald N. Weiser ('66) and his wife, Eileen, in support of diabetes research and therapy development at Michigan Medicine.

With the aim of advancing U-M faculty-led research with the potential for rapid clinical application, the gift will establish the Elizabeth Weiser Caswell Diabetes Institute — named for Weiser's daughter, who has two sons and a husband with Type 1 diabetes and serves on the board of diabetes nonprofit JDRF. To that end, the institute will centralize and coordinate U-M resources, including the work of more than two hundred and fifty world-renowned researchers focused on diabetes, diabetic complications, obesity, and metabolism.

"The institute is built on the idea that we can't only study one aspect of diabetes, but rather that we need to work together to attack every piece of this disease at the same time," said Martin Myers, Jr., the Marilyn H. Vincent Professor of Diabetes Research and director of the new institute."Thus, we will simultaneously work toward making designer insulin-producing beta cells as a therapy for diabetes, seek to understand how to block the onset of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and focus on how to improve clinical care and access to current lifesaving therapies."

"Elizabeth has been a relentless educator and advocate for people with diabetes and for diabetes research," said Weiser. "Our family hopes that the collaboration among physicians, researchers, innovators, and advocates across campus will allow the work she's done — and continues to do — to be rewarded with cures for diabetes."

(Photo credit: University of Michigan)