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Minister Simon Birmingham has announced that nearly $4 million has been awarded to Australian researchers for the Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network (T1DCRN) Australasian Diabetes Data Network (ADDN) and Career Development Awards.

ADDN is receiving a $2 million funding boost to extend the database beyond the current 6,000 young people, which will give researchers unprecedented ability to gain a national understanding of the incidence, development and management of T1D.

The database was established in 2012 to give researchers access for the first time to national level information about T1D. The new funding will extend the reach of the T1D database to include regional Australia, as well as the age range to include adults with T1D.

JDRF Australia CEO Mike Wilson said the Australasian Diabetes Data Network helps researchers identify people with T1D who are eligible for clinical trials, which in turn makes it easier for patients to access new therapies and treatments.

He said the funding would also allow for formal links to be forged with similar registries around the world. “JDRF Australia is in talks with similar groups in the US and Germany, and this is where we add value. Global vision is what’s needed to really accelerate research progress for T1D,” Mr Wilson said.

The Career Development Awards (CDAs) will provide crucial support to build the next generation of innovative leaders in type 1 diabetes research. Each CDA provides salary and research project funding for exceptional researchers who propose highly innovative clinical research that has the potential to transform existing paradigms in preventing, treating or curing type 1 diabetes.

CDA Awardees must be within fifteen years of receiving their PhD or equivalent and should demonstrate a promising track record of achievements appropriate to their career stage. The Award will help them to become established as future leaders in the field.

This Award also provides a new and ground-breaking benefit, leadership training. The goal is to create a new generation of leaders who will be coached to maximize their impact, add value across the sector, mentor emerging researchers and accelerate patient access to their research.

“The Network’s Career Development Awards provide crucial salary and project support to emerging innovative research leaders in type 1 diabetes,” Minister Birmingham said. “It is world-leading research like this that the Turnbull Government wants to promote as part of the ideas boom.”

Dr Dorota Pawlak, Director of the T1DCRN and Head of Research Development at JDRF said this Award would deliver on the principal goal of the T1DCRN, which is to positively impact the lives of people with type 1 diabetes.

“With a strong focus on innovation in clinical research, this Award will deliver benefits to the T1D community, and invest in high-achieving researchers who are the future leaders of T1D research.”

Career Development Awardees:

A/Prof Melinda Coughlan, Baker IDI. ‘Mapping the mitochondrial signature of individuals with type 1 diabetes and nephropathy’
Associate Professor Melinda Coughlan has a BSc Honours in Nutrition from Deakin University, and PhD in Obstetrics & Gynaecology from the University of Melbourne. She currently holds research grants from the NHMRC and JDRF and holds a dual appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor in Monash University’s Department of Medicine, Central Clinical School and the Department of Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine. A/Prof. Coughlan has over 40 publications in highly respected journals.

Associate Professor Anand Hardikar from the University of Sydney. ‘PREDICT T1D: Plasma RNA Evaluation and Diagnosis In Children progressing To Type 1 Diabetes’
Anandwardhan A. Hardikar, PhD, received MSc in Zoology (Genetics) and a PhD in Zoology from the University of Pune. After successful completion of his PhD work, he continued training in the field of pancreas biology and diabetes at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine. Associate Professor Hardikar lead Diabetes and Pancreas Biology Section at O’Brien Institute, St. Vincent’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne, in Melbourne, Australia. He is currently an Associate Professor and Australian Future Fellow (ARC) at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, Sydney Medical School.

The T1DCRN is supported by the Australian Government through the Special Research Initiative for Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes, a $35 million grant funded by the Australian Research Council.

Read the media release.

Find out more about ADDN.

Find out more about T1DCRN clinical research projects.

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