Jackson Laboratory-based Walk to Cure Type 1 Diabetes a success

Date: October 10, 2010
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ChildBar Harbor, Maine -- Mount Desert Island's annual Walk to raise funds for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), based this year at The Jackson Laboratory, drew about 200 walkers and raised close to $17,000. Researchers at the nonprofit research institute investigate the genetic causes for diabetes as well as cancer, heart disease, osteoporosis and many other diseases.

The MDI event was started six years ago as a “virtual walk”--a way for families living in Hancock County to participate in the long-standing Portland Walk without the long drive south. Since then, the event has become an actual MDI Walk, and the local group has raised more than $48,000 for type 1 diabetes research.

Most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults, type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, meaning that the body’s immune system attacks healthy tissue. In type 1 diabetes, the attack is specific to the cells that secrete insulin in the pancreas, necessitating daily doses of insulin. There is as yet no way to prevent or cure the disease. Type 1 diabetes involves the interaction of as many as 30 to 40 genes.

Dr. David Serreze, winner of the Gerold & Kayla Grodsky Basic Research Scientist Award and other awards from the JDRF,  investigates the ways in which genes contribute to the normal development of the immune system, or malfunction, leading to type 1 diabetes.

JDRF is a leader in setting the agenda for diabetes research worldwide, and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of type 1 research. The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. Type 1 diabetes is a disease which strikes children and adults suddenly and requires multiple injections of insulin daily or a continuous infusion of insulin through a pump. Insulin, however, is not a cure for diabetes, nor does it prevent its eventual and devastating complications which may include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and amputation. Since its founding in 1970 by parents of children with type 1 diabetes, JDRF has awarded more than $1.4 billion to diabetes research, including more than $100 million last year.

The Jackson Laboratory is a nonprofit biomedical research institution based in Bar Harbor, Maine. Its mission is to discover the genetic basis for preventing, treating and curing human diseases, and to enable research and education for the global biomedical community.

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Download a JPEG image from the Oct. 10 Walk (1.5MB) 

Contact(s): Joyce Peterson, 207-288-6058

For information on automatic email delivery of news releases (journalists only), please send an email request for details to news@jax.org. Please address other inquiries to pubinfo@jax.org.

Media Relations, Communications Office
The Jackson Laboratory
600 Main Street
Bar Harbor, Maine 04609-1500
Phone: 207-288-6058 (journalists only)
Main Jackson Laboratory phone: 207-288-6000
Fax: 207-288-6076
Email: news@jax.org