University of Toronto and University Health Network Renew Partnership Focused on Diabetes Research

September 6, 2017


Improving the lives of people with diabetes through cross-disciplinary research is the driving force behind a renewed partnership between the University of Toronto’s Banting & Best Diabetes Centre (BBDC) and the University Health Network (UHN).

The five-year renewed commitment will enable experts from diverse backgrounds from both organizations to continue to work together on cutting-edge prevention and treatment strategies for people with diabetes.

“UHN and U of T have a long and rich history of partnering in diabetes research, education and care, dating back to the 1921 discovery of insulin at U of T followed by the first successful insulin treatment at the Toronto General Hospital,” says Gary Lewis, BBDC Director, and a professor of Medicine and Physiology, who holds the Drucker Family Chair in Diabetes Research and the Sun Life Financial Chair. “This renewed agreement between UHN and BBDC further strengthens this partnership, for the benefit of those living with diabetes.”

This is the third renewal of the partnership, which began in 2007 with a focus on training a new generation of diabetes scientists.  Over the past 10 years 31 postdoctoral fellows and 52 graduate students have received support from UHN for their diabetes research training.  The majority of these trainees have pursued their interests in diabetes and many are predicted to make important contributions to the field.

For the next phase of the partnership, UHN will continue to provide much needed support for postdoctoral fellowships and graduate studentships who are working in the laboratories of UHN-based diabetes scientists, enabling the BBDC to increase the breadth of its diabetes research. Continued support will also be provided for BBDC educational activities such as the Annual Scientific Day and Seminar Series at City-wide Endocrine Rounds. UHN will continue to provide the BBDC with administrative office space on the 12th floor of the Eaton Building of the Toronto General Hospital. 

Today, more than 9 million Canadians have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Worldwide, almost half a billion people are affected by diabetes.

Guyana Diabetes and Footcare Project Wins Journal of Wound Care Award

July 2013: Click to download/open PDF

Update on Activities of the BBDC Applied Research Programs

February 2013: Click to download/open PDF

BBDC Receives Generous Support For Diabetes Knowledge Translation Program

June 20, 2013

The Banting & Best Diabetes Centre’s Knowledge Translation and Optimizing Care Models Program led by Dr. Lori MacCallum is off to great start thanks to a combined $550,000 gift from Merck Canada, Janssen, and Takeda Canada.

The mandate of the BBDC’s Knowledge Translation and Optimizing Care Models Program is to ensure that scientific knowledge of what we know constitutes best practice is implemented to improve the lives of people with diabetes. Our primary focus is to identify the care gaps that could best be addressed by pharmacists and find ways to help pharmacists improve outcomes for people with diabetes. There are approximately 35,000 pharmacists in Canada, most of whom work in a community setting. People with diabetes see community pharmacists more than any other health care provider. Approximately 85% of patients are on at least one medication and pharmacists are the most likely health care provider to identify non-adherence and provide counseling and advice on medication management.

In addition, the scope of practice of pharmacists is continuing to expand from the safe procurement of medications to patient-centred care so the timing is perfect. By developing programs that leverage and support pharmacists to provide care to people with diabetes, we can improve outcomes for these patients. This will be a multiphase approach and will include community engagement, program development, testing, dissemination and evaluation. We are currently working with a small number of pharmacies to develop and implement programs with the intention of wide-scale implementation in the future.

We would like to graciously acknowledge Merck Canada and Janssen for providing $250,000 each, as well as Takeda Canada for providing $50,000 in support of this program.

BBDC Annual Report July 2011 - June 2012

January 2013: Click to download/open PDF