The American Diabetes Association announced today it is awarding this year’s prestigious Pathway to Stop Diabetes grants, totaling $4.875 million dollars, to three researchers, with each scientist receiving $1.625 million dollars over a five-year grant term to support breakthroughs in basic science, clinical science, technology, care and potential cures in the field of diabetes. Since its inception in 2014, the Pathway program has been an innovative initiative designed to transform diabetes research by attracting brilliant scientists to diabetes research through substantial financial support, as well as professional mentorship and guidance. Pathway grants are awarded in three categories: 1) Pathway Initiator, for postdoctoral fellows who are transitioning from training to independent research; 2) Pathway Accelerator, for diabetes researchers early in their independent careers; and 3) Pathway Visionary, for scientists established in another field who are interested in applying their expertise to diabetes research for the first time.
2019 Pathway to Stop Diabetes grant recipients and the focus of their research include:
Ebony B. Carter, MD, Washington University in St. Louis, in St. Louis, Missouri, receives a Pathway Accelerator Award for her clinical research project titled, “Targeted lifestyle change group prenatal care for obese women at high risk for gestational diabetes: a randomized controlled trial.”
Sarah A. Tishkoff, PhD, University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, receives a Pathway Visionary Award for her basic research project titled, “Genetic risk factors for diabetes in populations of African Ancestry.”
Matthew J. Webber, PhD, University of Notre Dame, in Notre Dame, Indiana, receives a Pathway Accelerator Award for his bioengineering project titled, “Hypoglycemic rescue with glucoseThe food you eat gets digested and broken down into a sugar your body's cells can use. This is glucose, one of the simplest forms of sugar.X-responsive glucagona hormone produced by the alpha cells in the pancreas. It raises blood glucose. An injectable form of glucagon, available by prescription, may be used to treat severe hypoglycemia. The opposite of insulinX delivery devices.”
“We are incredibly proud we have been able to support 32 researchers through the Pathway to Stop Diabetes research grant since 2014,” said the ADA’s Chief Scientific, Medical and Mission Officer William T. Cefalu, MD. “Each recipient helps investigate novel methods to better detect, diagnosisthe determination of a disease from its signs and symptoms.X, manage, and someday possibly cure diabetes. Such innovative thinking leads the way to increased knowledge about the inner workings of diabetes, ultimately improving the lives of millions of people living with diabetes. Congratulations to Drs. Carter, Tishkoff and Webber. We look forward to their impactful discoveries as Pathway grant recipients.”
Pathway awardees are selected by the ADA’s Mentor Advisory Group—eminent scientists from diabetes and other fields who review the core elements of exceptional science in selecting an applicant: rigorous thought processes, keen intellect, and capacity for innovation, creativity and productivity. The advisors also provide the Pathway grant recipients with mentorship and scientific and professional guidance throughout the term of their grant. In addition to the substantial and flexible financial support and mentorship, the program provides grant recipients with networks for communication and collaboration, special symposia and speaking engagements, and unique collaborative opportunities that will accelerate the advancement and translation of their science, and lead to breakthrough discoveries.
“Pathway to Stop Diabetes provides exceptional scientists with a unique combination of funding resources and human collaborative networks necessary to perform the multidisciplinary, innovative research required to bring us closer to a cure,” said Silvia Corvera, MD, Chair of the ADA’s Mentor Advisory Group and Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Massachusetts. “We are thrilled to welcome the newest recipients of Pathway awards into this elite group of researchers. Together with previous Pathway award recipients, this group of scientists will make extraordinary contributions to diabetes care and impact the lives of millions of people living with or at risk for diabetes.”
Pathway is supported by more than $52 million in contributions from corporate sponsors, including Novo Nordisk, 2019 Pathway Visionary sponsor; Eli Lilly and Company, 2019 Pathway Discovery Sponsor; AstraZeneca and Merck, 2019 Pathway Initiator sponsors, along with generous support from several corporate contributors, individuals and foundations. The funds allow the Pathway grant program to extend support to individuals who are just starting their independent research careers, as well as to exceptional scientists already established in other fields of research who want to apply their expertise to diabetes.
“As a founding sponsor of Pathway to Stop Diabetes, Novo Nordisk has been proud to support this program, which not only delivers the highest quality research in diabetes but also nurtures our most promising scientists of the future,” said Stephen Gough MD, FRCP (UK), Senior Vice President and Global Chief Medical Officer, Novo Nordisk A/S. “The research carried out as part of the Pathway to Stop Diabetes is not just great ground-breaking science but is also likely to reduce the burden of disease for people with diabetes.”
Eight Pathway Initiator awardees secured their first independent faculty positions;
Ten patent applications have been filed by Pathway scientists to protect the intellectual property they have uncovered; and
Nearly 120 manuscripts published in peer-reviewed journals by Pathway awardees.
“As long as people continue to live with diabetes, research that leads to better outcomes is needed,” said Sherry Martin, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs, Eli Lilly and Company. “Lilly supports the Pathway Program because we are committed to finding new ways to improve the lives of people who are affected by this condition. With federal funding under increased pressure, diabetes research is at risk without important initiatives such as the Pathway Program. We applaud the American Diabetes Association for its commitment to funding this important work.”
The ADA is now accepting nominations for the 2020 class of Pathway awardees. The Pathway program seeks to bring new investigators and new perspectives to diabetes research. Supporting scientists with different backgrounds and experience is critical to achieving that objective. Pathway accepts nominations for exceptional investigators with medical and scientific backgrounds who propose innovative basic, clinical, translational, behavioral, epidemiological and health services research relevant to any type of diabetes, diabetes-related disease state or complication. Pathway solicits nominations for candidates in all disciplines as applied to diabetes, from medicine, biology and chemistry to engineering, mathematics and physics. In addition, nomination of scientists from diverse backgrounds, including minority groups that are underrepresented in biomedical research, is strongly encouraged. Applicants must be nominated by a U.S. accredited academic and non-profit research institution prior to submitting an application. Institutions may nominate a maximum of one investigator per grant cycle. For more information on the nomination process, visit diabetes.org/pathway.
About the American Diabetes Association
Approximately every 21 seconds, someone in the United States is diagnosed with diabetes. Nearly half of the American adult population has diabetes or prediabetesa condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but are not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. People with prediabetes are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes and for heart disease and stroke. Other names for prediabetes are impaired glucose tolerance and impaired fasting glucose.X, and more than 30 million adults and children are living with the disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization on a mission to prevent and cure diabetes, as well as improve the lives of all people affected by the disease. For nearly 80 years, the ADA has driven discovery by funding research to treat, manage and prevent all types of diabetes, while working relentlessly for a cure. Magnifying the urgency of this epidemic, the ADA works to safeguard policies and programs that protect people with the illness, those at risk of developing diabetes and the health care professionals who serve them by initiating programs, advocacy and education efforts that can lead to improved health outcomes and quality of life. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit us at diabetes.org. Information is available in English and Spanish. Join the conversation with us on Facebook (), Twitter () and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).