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“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.

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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”.

Professor Craig is a chief investigator on two major T1DCRN clinical projects, the Australasian Diabetes Data Network (ADDN) and the Environmental Determinants of Islet Autoimmunity (ENDIA). She is also leading the Cord Reinfusion in Diabetes (CoRD) study at the Children’s Hospital in Westmead.

The ADDN project will capture clinical data from thousands of young people with type 1 diabetes on a single purpose-built database. Most young people living with type 1 diabetes receive their clinical care in central paediatric specialist centres across the country, such as the Children’s Hospital at Westmead. De-identified patient data from five of these centres will be connected on a single platform, allowing researchers to monitor progress of health outcomes from close to 80% of newly diagnosed young people in Australia.

“The outcomes from ADDN will provide the first national data on young people living with type 1 diabetes – this will be so important for health policy and planning”, Prof Craig said. Researchers will be able to answer questions such as how type 1 diabetes progresses over time, when and why complications develop, and how different models of care can influence long-term health outcomes.

JDRF and the T1DCRN would like to congratulate Professor Craig on her recent appointment to Professor of Paediatric Endocrinology, and for her invaluable contribution to type 1 diabetes research.

To find out more about ADDN, or to participate, click here.

To find out more about ENDIA, or to participate, click here.

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