ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwired - Feb 25, 2014) - 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 ultimately end this epidemic, the American Diabetes Association's initiative, Pathway to Stop Diabetes, aims to fund 100 new diabetes researchers over the course of the next decade. Today, the Association announced the 2014 call for nominations.
"If our current course as a nation continues, by 2050, one in three American adults will have diabetes. Changing this daunting statistic and ending this epidemic requires a bold approach," said Elizabeth R. Seaquist, MD, President, Medicine & Science, American Diabetes Association. "Pathway to Stop Diabetes is the American Diabetes Association's innovative research effort to identify brilliant scientists and provide them with the resources they need to lead us toward breakthrough discoveries in the fight to Stop Diabetes®."
With more than $7 million in generous gifts from individuals and $25 million in corporate support from Sanofi, Novo Nordisk Inc., the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation and AstraZeneca, the prestigious Pathway awards seek out scientists who are just starting their careers in diabetes research, or are already established in another field but want to expand their focus to diabetes research.
"The American Diabetes Association's Pathway to Stop Diabetes identifies promising scientists who represent a range of disciplines but share a common goal -- to improve the lives of people with or at risk for diabetes," said Gwen Krivi, PhD, Vice President, Lilly Diabetes product development. "The Association selected truly exceptional candidates for its inaugural class of Pathway scientists. We look forward to seeing new and innovative ideas and approaches from the 2014 Pathway nominees."
The Association is seeking nominations from accredited U.S. academic and nonprofit research institutions for scientists with innovative solutions to Stop Diabetes®. Pathway seeks new perspectives, and the Association encourages scientists from diverse backgrounds and in all disciplines, including medicine, biology, chemistry, engineering, physics and mathematics, to propose their most innovative and creative ideas for research projects that could improve the lives of people with diabetes. Pathway awards 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.
"While we have seen many advances in diabetes care, a visionary approach to research is required to really make an impact on this growing worldwide epidemic," said Anne Whitaker, President, North America Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi. "Sanofi is committed to helping people living with diabetes and believes that Pathway to Stop Diabetes will help uncover these much needed new approaches to diabetes research. We strongly encourage eligible scientists to join us in this important mission."
Scientists will be selected by the Pathway Mentor Advisory Group -- a group of distinguished scientists who will identify candidates who demonstrate a rigorous thought process, keen intellect, and the capacity for innovation and creativity. In addition to participating in the selection process, the Mentor Advisors provide ongoing scientific and career advice to Pathway scientists throughout the duration of their awards, creating a challenging environment in which transformative science will thrive.
"AstraZeneca is committed to working with policymakers, professional societies and advocacy organizations to advance developments in diabetes management," said Rich Daly, President, Diabetes, AstraZeneca. "We are proud to support the American Diabetes Association's Pathway to Stop Diabetes researchers as they explore new approaches to treating the escalating diabetes epidemic."
In addition to substantial financial support and 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, leading to breakthrough discoveries.
"Pathway to Stop Diabetes helps to identify high caliber up-and-coming, innovative scientific leaders that can further the understanding of diabetes and its complications," said Todd Hobbs, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Novo Nordisk Inc. "Each new discovery brings us one step closer to finding a cure for this disease."
Materials and more detailed information for nominating institutions and interested investigators can be found at diabetes.org/pathway.
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.