Curing Diabetes

Global Partners in the Search for a Diabetes Cure

The DRI is committed to curing diabetes in the fastest, safest, most efficient way possible. That’s why scientific collaboration has long been at the core of its philosophy. The key to fast-tracking research from the lab to patients is to collaborate – not compete – with fellow scientists. DRI researchers are doing just that within the United States and around the world through a number of joint initiatives. Working closely with scientific colleagues, researchers at the DRI in Miami investigate more strategies, share more ideas, and accomplish more success for those living with diabetes.

We want to help new, innovative and potentially breakthrough ideas, whether they come from our own ranks or from anywhere else in the world…the only constant in research is change, and now change is happening at an unprecedented rate. It is impossible to think about curing a disease by remaining within an “ivory tower,” so we must collaborate and capitalize upon emerging, new technologies.

Diabetes Research Institute Federation

The Diabetes Research Institute Federation is a global alliance of researchers from top medical centers who are focused on one goal: to cure diabetes. Through these worldwide partnerships, promising findings in the lab can be applied to patients more quickly than ever before by overcoming the many significant barriers – financial, political, legal, regulatory – that vary by country and prevent real research progress from being made. The mission of the DRI Federation is to advance new ideas by grouping researchers with specific expertise that may not be located within individual centers. The DRI Federation has several dozen partners and continues to grow.

Dr. Denise R. and Thomas D. Stern Fast Track Center for Testing

The Dr. Denise R. and Thomas D. Stern Fast Track Center for Testing embodies the DRI’s open-door approach to research. The Center provides the ideal environment for researchers to quickly test and evaluate new technologies and potential therapies. To accelerate the pace of progress, the DRI invites investigators at research centers and biomedical companies around the world to further test their findings, work side by side with DRI scientists, and train in the latest diabetes research techniques.


JDRF nPOD (Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes) is a global network that procures and distributes pancreatic tissue from organ donors with type 1 diabetes to further study the key immunological, histological, viral, and metabolic questions related to how the disease develops. The DRI’s Alberto Pugliese, M.D., The Dodson Chair in Diabetes Research and Deputy Director of Immune Tolerance, and the University of Florida’s Mart Atkinson, Ph.D., Director of the UF Diabetes Institute, serve as Co-Executive Directors of nPOD.

Through the nPOD network, researchers have access to pancreatic tissue from organ donors with type 1 diabetes to further study the key immunological, histological, viral and metabolic questions related to how the disease develops. “There are clearly some questions of fundamental importance that can only be addressed by studying patients. The mouse cannot have the answers to those questions.”

Clinical Islet Transplantation Consortium

The Clinical Islet Transplantation Consortium (CIT) is a worldwide network of clinical centers and a data coordinating center established in 2004 that conducts studies of islet transplantation in patients with type 1 diabetes. The CIT Consortium was created by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). DRI Director Camillo Ricordi, M.D., serves as Chairman of the CIT Steering Committee.

Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet

Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet is an international network of researchers who are exploring ways to prevent, delay and reverse the progression of type 1 diabetes. The DRI is one of 25 participating centers in TrialNet. Led by David Baidal, M.D., the DRI’s TrialNet team collaborates with investigators throughout the entire network. Jay Skyler, M.D., DRI Deputy Director for Clinical Research and Academic Programs, is former Chairman of TrialNet.

Lindsey Inserra Immune Tolerance Seminar Series

The Lindsey Inserra Immune Tolerance Seminar Series is a forum for the exchange of scientific findings aimed at tackling one of the most critical issues in type 1 diabetes research: overcoming the challenges of the immune system. The series provides the opportunity for DRI and University of Miami scientists and leading immunologists worldwide to share knowledge, novel ideas, and the latest approaches to establish tolerance and reverse autoimmunity, the disease process that causes the onset of type 1 diabetes. The seminar series was launched in October 2016 as a special consortium with seven invited speakers and has since welcomed to the DRI a number of distinguished investigators. These important seminars provide researchers with the opportunity to share unpublished data which helps to shape the research program, as well as hold one-on-one meetings and form additional collaborations that empower new scientific strategies. We are grateful to the Inserra family for providing this vital research tool to help advance our mission to discover a biological cure.

Diabetes Prevention Program

The Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and its Outcome Study (DPPOS), conducted at 27 sites around the United States including the DRI, has received continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health since it was launched in 1994. Ronald B. Goldberg, M.D., DRI Associate Director of Medical Affairs and Co-Director of the Clinical Laboratory, served as Principal Investigator of the DPP, which was the first multi-ethnic study to show that lifestyle changes substantially reduced the development of type 2 diabetes in high-risk people with pre-diabetes.

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