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

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.