JDRF Funded Projects

JDRF’s primary goal is to cure type 1 diabetes (T1D) through research – as quickly as possible. To support people with T1D while cure research is advancing, we also fund ground-breaking research that seeks to make life with T1D easier, safer and healthier.

This unique partnership ensures that type 1 diabetes (T1D) remains a priority in Canadian health research and is based on a shared vision of improved care, treatment, outcomes, and cures for those living with T1D.

In 2017, JDRF partnered with the Government of Canada, announcing a new $30 million Partnership to Defeat Diabetes. Through this landmark partnership, JDRF and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) each committed $15 million to jointly fund research to improve the quality of life for Canadians living with T1D and drive efforts to cure the disease. This Partnership was renewed for a further $30 million through Federal Budget 2021 and through further matched funding from JDRF Canada, now being allocated across three different areas of research: precision medicine, psychosocial health, and screening for T1D risk.. By leveraging funds from multiple sources and combining the strengths and expertise of two funders, the partnership increases the speed at which novel research is conducted – all with one ultimate goal in mind – turning type 1 into type none.

The JDRF-CIHR Partnership is currently supporting the following projects:

People with T1D are at an increased risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, eating disorders, and diabetes distress – a clinically validated term describing the powerlessness, stress, guilt, relentless worry, and denial that comes with living with diabetes and the burden of self-management. Mental health disorders in people with T1D are associated with a lower quality of life, worse glycemic control (i.e., higher HbA1c), more frequent/severe hypoglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis episodes, and more hospital admissions. Conversely, resilience, empowerment, a good support network, and wellness are linked with high quality of life and health outcomes in people with T1D.

There is currently no standard pathway for identification, screening and referral of mental health concerns for people with T1D, and research in the area of mental health and T1D has traditionally been woefully under-funded. Although mental health interventions are known to improve quality of life and outcomes for some people with diabetes, few are regularly implemented in standard care. JDRF is funding projects that examine mental health needs in T1D, develop and test solutions to address needs, and work to integrate these solutions into clinical practice.

JDRF funds research in 20+ countries around the world through our Global Research Strategy to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. JDRF International’s global oversight means that no two projects are the same, and that there is a coordinated approach to the organization’s strategic goals to foster collaboration rather than competition. To drive our Global Research Strategy, we invest in the best and brightest thinkers dedicated to advancing T1D research.

Grants in the global portfolio are primarily grants held by Canadian researchers who have been awarded a prestigious JDRF grant via international competition.  The following is a limited selection of Canadian grants in our Global portfolio. For a more comprehensive list please visit JDRF International’s grant center.

Donor funding helps JDRF to bring some of the brightest minds into type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. JDRF supports a diverse pipeline of T1D researchers by supporting investigators at pivotal points in their career. These ambitious researchers are the future of the field and help build capacity for the next generation of T1D research breakthroughs.

Funding for trainees is included in our Global Portfolio as it is a key pillar of our Global Research Strategy, and JDRF International runs the major trainee awards, such as the Career Development Awards and Postdoctoral Fellowships.

Meet the researchers behind these exciting projects.