Australia’s largest study on the causes of T1D receives $8m boost

JDRF Australia has today announced that a new $8 million partnership with The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, for investment into the Australian Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network (T1DCRN), a JDRF Australia initiative.

This partnership will support Environmental Determinants of Islet Autoimmunity (ENDIA), a ground-breaking study to help solve the mystery of what causes type 1 diabetes.


ENDIA study will investigate 1,400 pregnant women and their babies, and is Australia’s largest study into the environmental causes of type 1 diabetes. The new funding for ENDIA will enable researchers to complete recruitment for the study in major hospitals across the country (listed below), as well as funding novel scientific investigations in Australia’s leading research institutes and universities. Read More

New discovered pathway keeps immune system in check

JDRF-supported researchers from the University of Birmingham have identified a novel immune-regulating pathway that is disrupted in autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.


The study, published in Nature Medicine, shows how in a healthy immune system, a key molecule called PEPITEM tightly controls the level of response to infection and disease. PEPITEM is secreted by B cells of the immune system, and acts to inhibit the movement of inflammatory T cells from the blood into the tissues. In people with type 1 diabetes the level of PEPITEM is reduced, resulting in inappropriate access of damaging T cells to vulnerable tissues. Read More

Rapid stomach emptying in teenagers with T1D

A study at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide has shown that adolescents with type 1 diabetes have a faster than normal gastric (stomach) emptying time. This rapid digestion of carbohydrate-containing meals can lead to higher blood glucose levels after eating, impacting long-term blood glucose control.


The study compared the gastric emptying time of 30 adolescents with T1D with age- and sex-matched controls following a standardised meal. The median time taken for half of the meal to be emptied from the stomach was 78 minutes in adolescents with T1D, compared with 109 minutes in controls.  Faster gastric emptying resulted in higher blood glucose levels after the meal. Read More

T1DCRN researcher Maria Craig receives prestigious Professorship

“You have been amazing and a blessing for my son since he was diagnosed seven years ago”.

“We are so blessed to have this amazing woman as our endocrinologist”.

“She’s been there since day one for us”.

These are just a few of the things Maria Craig’s patients and their families say about this popular endocrinologist. What her patients may not know is that Maria Craig is also one of Australia’s leading researchers in the field of type 1 diabetes, and in January was conferred with the title of Professor of Paediatric Endocrinology by the University of Sydney and the University of NSW. This highly esteemed title was awarded to Professor Craig in recognition of her leadership in cutting-edge clinical research that is unravelling the causes of type 1 diabetes, and investigating possible ways to prevent it.


Professor Craig first developed an interest in type 1 diabetes research when she was a young medical student. “I volunteered for a children’s diabetes camp and have never looked back”, she said. She went on to complete her PhD in 2002, a Master of Medical Epidemiology in 2003, and is currently a paediatric endocrinologist specialising in type 1 diabetes at the Children’s Hospital in Westmead. Professor Craig says JDRF has been instrumental in helping to establish her research career, “not only funding, but support, and facilitating meetings which in turn have helped to foster vital collaborations and connections”. Read More

Serious life events in childhood can triple the risk of type 1 diabetes

Children who experience traumatic events such as illness, death in the family, conflict at home or other psychological stress were found to be up to three times more likely to develop type 1 diabetes, a Swedish study has found.


The study, published in Diabetologia, examined the occurrence of psychological stress and development of type 1 diabetes in over 10,000 children aged 3-14 from the All Babies in Southeast Sweden (ABIS) study. Family stress was measured using questionnaires filled out by parents about the occurrence of serious life events, parental stress, and available social support. In total, 58 children were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes during the study period, and of these, 59% had experienced psychological stress, compared with 30% of children that did not go on to develop type 1 diabetes. The difference was significant even when taking into account family history of type 1 diabetes. Read More