ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - Mar 18, 2013) - With nearly 26 million adults and children in the U.S. living with diabetes, and another 79 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 ultimately end this deadly epidemic, the American Diabetes Association is undertaking a bold new initiative, Pathway to Stop Diabetes. Pathway has a goal of funding 100 new diabetes researchers over the next decade, and will provide crucial support to individuals focusing on innovative ideas and transformational approaches to diabetes research.
With more than $7 million in generous gifts from individuals and $20 million in founding corporate support from Sanofi, Novo Nordisk Inc., and the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation, the Association is pleased to announce this week the launch of the initial call for nominations for Pathway awards.
"If our current course as a nation continues, by 2050, one in three American adults will be living with diabetes. Diabetes research is critical to put an end to this epidemic but is currently severely underfunded. The American Diabetes Association's Pathway to Stop Diabetes will transform diabetes research by providing brilliant, innovative scientists with the resources needed for discoveries in diabetes prevention, diagnosis, treatment and ultimately, needed cures," said Karen Talmadge, PhD, Chair of the Board and Vice Chair, Research Foundation of the American Diabetes Association. "The Association is thrilled to open the call for nominations for researchers who will focus on their innovative ideas and transformational approaches needed to Stop Diabetes®."
The prestigious Pathway awards are by institutional nomination only. The Association is seeking nominations from accredited U.S. academic and nonprofit research institutions 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.
"This approach offers some exciting opportunities for scientific innovation to shine," said Alan Moses, MD, Global Chief Medical Officer, Novo Nordisk Inc. "I know the American Diabetes Association is looking forward to a high caliber of nominations that could help further everyone's understanding of the disease. We're very pleased to be supporting this effort that will take us further down the path to improve the lives of patients living with diabetes."
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.
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.
"It is vital that we continue to collectively support new research on this pervasive disease given the impact it has on the lives of individual patients, their families and society as a whole," said Gwen Krivi, PhD, Vice President of Diabetes Product Development at Lilly Diabetes. "This disease does not discriminate -- it affects individuals regardless of their race, gender, age or lifestyle -- and therefore we need to encourage continued research and seek solutions that work for a very diverse set of patients. The Pathway awards are an important step in establishing needed resources to help find solutions which may improve the lives of these patients and slow or stop the increase in the rate of diabetes throughout the world."
In addition to substantial and flexible financial support, and an environment of strong 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, and lead to breakthrough discoveries.
"We are very proud of our partnership with the American Diabetes Association on Pathway to Stop Diabetes and are excited for the next phase to begin," said Dennis Urbaniak, Vice President and Head of U.S. Diabetes Patient Centered Unit, Sanofi US. "The call for nominations brings us one step closer to collaborating with a new generation of scientists who have a mutual mission of fostering innovative solutions for the nearly 26 million people living with diabetes today."
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.