Explore JDRF research

Discover where JDRF-funded research is taking place across Australia, and learn about our research focus areas.

Explore JDRF
"Islet lights" by Arnolda Jakovija, Garvan Institute of Medical Research

The researchers changing the future of type 1 diabetes

JDRF-funded Professors Jenny Couper, Simon Barry and Toby Coates on their research projects and their hopes for the future of T1D.

JDRF funds more than 50 active research projects across Australia.

See where JDRF research takes place using our interactive map below. Hover over a state to see the amount of funding in that area or click to see a list of funded research projects.

Research focus areas: curing T1D

Preventing type 1 diabetes in people at risk, and ultimately finding cures for T1D.

Disease-modifying therapies

One way of potentially curing T1D and restoring the body’s ability to make insulin is by directly targeting the autoimmune attack that causes T1D.

We do this by supporting groundbreaking research of disease-modifying therapies – drugs or other treatments that can change the natural course of T1D. Our work includes therapies that can help the body regenerate lost beta cells, as well as those that delay the onset of T1D – and have the potential to one day prevent T1D developing at all.


Behind the physical signs of type 1 diabetes, chemical markers in the blood (autoantibodies) act as signposts of the silent immune processes taking place in the body.

An autoantibody screening program is a key component of our vision of a world without T1D. Through screening, we can identify those who will benefit most from clinical trials of disease-modifying therapies that aim to slow onset of T1D, or even prevent it altogether.

Cell therapies

We can stop T1D, at least for a short time, by replacing damaged cells in the pancreas with healthy cells from a donor – an islet transplant. Over 100 islet transplants have been performed in Australia to date.

There are challenges that prevent this life-changing procedure from being more widely available: it’s invasive, it requires large numbers of donor cells, and recipients need to take lifelong immunosuppressant drugs. JDRF researchers are working on creative solutions to all of these challenges.

Improving lives of people living with T1D

Ensuring that people with T1D live healthier, longer lives.

Closed-loop insulin delivery

Closed-loop systems revolutionise T1D treatment by acting like an artificial pancreas, continuously monitoring blood glucose levels and delivering precise amounts of insulin when it is needed.

JDRF researchers are working on the next generation of closed-loop systems, as well as running several large clinical trials assessing how closed-loop technology affects different groups of people with T1D.


Type 1 diabetes has wide-reaching effects on the body. The majority of people with T1D will develop additional health problems in their lifetime — predominantly affecting the kidneys, eyes, heart or nervous system.

Our focus is on finding new ways of treating or preventing the most common complications, like kidney and eye disease, to ensure that people with T1D live long and healthy lives.

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Research and clinical trials