City of Hope expands basic and translational diabetes research with $30 million investment
As diabetes approaches pandemic levels, commitment to curing the disease becomes even more crucial
DUARTE, Calif., March 19, 2014 — Diabetes
is a leading national and global health threat. Unless current trends reverse, one in every three people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with diabetes by the year 2050. In order to combat this problem, City of Hope has announced a new $30 million investment that will expand its basic and translational research efforts to provide new treatments for type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
The funding, made possible by philanthropic support, will be used to recruit highly experienced and well-published scientists to join the Department of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Research at Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope. Their areas of research will include cell biology, immunology, diabetic complications, gene regulation and obesity— all fields that will be integral in developing cures for diabetes.
“City of Hope is committed to fighting diabetes through innovative, scientific research,” said Robert Stone
, president and CEO of City of Hope. “Our legacy of medical discovery, combined with our quest for new breakthrough treatments, gives us the ability to change the future for the millions of people who battle this disease every day.”
A pioneer in translational research for diabetes, City of Hope serves as the West Coast’s leading center for islet cell therapy, as well as a leader in diabetes epigenetics research. Its diabetes program is built on a rich history that started with its founder, Rachmiel Levine, M.D., the first scientist to describe the role of insulin in regulating glucose entry into the cell. That work led to an understanding of what’s now known as “insulin resistance,” the hallmark of type 2 diabetes.
City of Hope researchers also contributed to the development of synthetic insulin, which is now used by millions of diabetic patients worldwide. Further, City of Hope is one of only a handful of centers in the nation currently performing clinical trials involving islet cell transplantation, a potential cure for patients with type 1diabetes.
“City of Hope encourages promising researchers to quickly take their discoveries from the lab to the clinic, making us uniquely positioned to break new ground in diabetes research,” said Steven T. Rosen, M.D., Irell & Manella Cancer Center Director’s Distinguished Chair, provost and chief scientific officer at City of Hope. “Our research plan attacks diabetes on numerous fronts, and this expansion will allow us to bring aboard additional researchers to help accelerate our efforts to find new treatments and potential cures for this serious health threat.”
Expansion of diabetes research at City of Hope supports the institution’s core mission to transform the future of health, turning scientific knowledge into a practical benefit that can treat patients.
“As one of only a few centers able to perform potentially lifesaving islet cell transplants, City of Hope is already at the forefront of discovering advanced treatment options for the diabetic patients who need it most,” said Fouad Kandeel
, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism. “In addition to seeking cures for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, we will continue to lead the way in exploring the links between cancer and metabolism, an exciting new multidisciplinary research area that is rapidly growing in scope and significance.”
About City of Hope
City of Hope is a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest recognition bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope is also a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, with research and treatment protocols that advance care throughout the nation. City of Hope’s main hospital is located in Duarte, Calif., just northeast of Los Angeles, with clinics in Antelope Valley and South Pasadena. It is ranked as one of "America's Best Hospitals" in cancer by U.S.News & World Report
. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation and genetics.