Prevention and Therapy of Diabetic Complications

Illustration of the kidneys

Research in this area promotes the collaborative research of investigators involved in the field of diabetes complications at the University of Toronto and its fully affiliated academic teaching hospitals and research institutes. Research spans cell biology animal models and human trials featuring a comprehensive and interdisciplinary research program. A major focus of this research is diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease) in which the University of Toronto has an internationally recognized group of scientists. A $1 Million Transformational Diabetes Team Research Grant from the Banting & Best Diabetes Centre has been pivotal not only in launching a new research endeavour but in spring-boarding the establishment of a Canada-wide diabetic kidney disease research conglomerate and a now internationally funded biotechnology company, Fibrocor Therapeutics. Fibrocor specializes in the development of tissue-specific therapeutics to treat the underlying cause of fibrotic diseases of the kidney and other organs. The company was spun out of St. Michael’s Hospital and Sinai Health Systems in Toronto in early 2017 by the BBDC grant recipients and Fibrocor co-founders Drs. Richard Gilbert, Darren Yuen and Jeffrey Wrana. 

A major outgrowth of the BBDC’s strength in diabetes complications was the awarding of a University of Toronto led multimillion dollar national SPOR (Strategy for Patient-Oriented Research) Network in Diabetes and Its Related Complications.  Awarded in 2016, the SPOR Network is now named Diabetes Action Canada.

Many members of the BBDC are team members of DAC and are actively involved in its research and Knowledge Translation activities.  DAC’s activities are extensive and include clinical trials, informatics, development of new tools and therapies for diabetes complications, knowledge translation and training, to mention just some of the activities.  Much of the work focuses on targeted Intervention of diabetic complications, testing new therapies, imaging techniques, focus on population research, implementation science, knowledge translation, health economics research and health policy.  Together with the BBDC’s Prevention and Therapy of Diabetic Complications Research, DAC is an organization that is rapidly gaining recognition nationally as a major force for the prevention of diabetes complications.