Conquering diabetes

 

Children with type 1 diabetes not only need to take insulin injections several times a day and monitor blood sugar levels around the clock, but they and their families also live with a constant fear of serious and
life-threatening complications.

The condition occurs when the immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing beta cells of the pancreas, which are needed to control blood sugar.

A child is diagnosed with diabetes at BC Children’s every three to four days

Dr. Francis Lynn, a researcher at the Canucks for  Kids Fund Childhood Diabetes Laboratories at BC Children’s, is on a quest to conquer diabetes. His vision? Generate a readily available source of lab-grown insulin-producing cells that could be transplanted into children with type 1 diabetes.

Recently, Dr. Lynn and his team received a major boost to advance this research— becoming one of two groups awarded a total of $6 million in funding from the Government of Canada and JDRF Canada to  accelerate the development of stem cell-based therapies for type 1 diabetes.

“If successful, this would be utterly transformative for children with type 1 diabetes—allowing them to live healthy lives and reducing the need for painful insulin injections,” Dr. Lynn said.

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