JDRF is delighted to announce the recipients of the Australian Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network’s (T1DCRN) prestigious Mentored Clinical Researcher Fellowship Award, worth $30,000 per year for two years.

The Fellowship enables clinician researchers to establish their research career in the field of type 1 diabetes, by supporting one day per week of dedicated research time for involvement in a clinical research project, consistent with the objectives of the T1DCRN. Fellows must be supported by a mentor who is experienced in the field of clinical research.

The recipients, Dr Martin DeBock, Consultant Endocrinologist at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Western Australia, and Dr Bala Krishnamurthy, an Endocrinologist at the St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, are both working on some of the most promising type 1 diabetes research and are being mentored by world leading researchers.

“Supporting promising type 1 diabetes researchers to strengthen their skills and knowledge in the early part of their careers by working with world leading mentors, is crucial to building Australia’s research strength in type 1 diabetes. We congratulate both Dr DeBock and Dr Krishnamurthy and look forward to hearing more about their projects as they progress,” said JDRF Australia CEO, Mike Wilson.

Dr DeBock is being mentored by Prof Tim Jones at the Princess Margaret Hospital. Their research is at the forefront of developing a closed-loop system, or artificial pancreas, that would allow people with type 1 diabetes to live without the burden of constant blood glucose checks and insulin injections. He currently has a large clinical trial funded by the T1DCRN which is testing a feature on the closed-loop system that would allow episodes of hypoglycemia to be predicted and insulin delivery to be suspended before they occur.

Dr Krishnamurthy is working under the mentorship of Prof Thomas Kay, Director of the St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research. Dr Krishnamurthy and Professor Kay’s research focuses on autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes. They are currently investigating the factors in pancreatic islet cells that stimulate the autoimmune response and lead to the destruction of these cells in type 1 diabetes.

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