Innovative and Translational Projects

Innovative and Translational Projects
"We are all dressed for the party!" submitted by Hardikar Lab, Western Sydney University

Pilot and Innovation Awards

The T1DCRN accelerates new and innovative research — revolutionary concepts that have a strong potential to improve the lives of people with T1D. The Pilot and Innovation Awards scheme supports small-scale pilot projects and new directions in the search for a cure for T1D, including concepts that have never been investigated before. Three highly innovative projects and two smaller seed contract funding projects were supported as part of the Innovation Awards. Three further projects were able to be supported with leveraged funding from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and JDRF International.

Current and Past Recipients

Prof Charmaine Simeonovic
Investigating the contribution of platelet-neutrophil interactions to T1D autoimmunity, beta cell damage, and T1D progression.

A/Prof Stuart Mannering
Identifying what it is that CD8+ T cells “see” that makes them turn on the body’s healthy beta cells, a process which leads to the development of T1D.

A/Prof Shane Grey
Using “islet-helped” T regulatory cells to regenerate damaged beta cells.

Dr Vincent Ho
Seed funding for investigation of a new endoscopic device for the treatment of diabetic gastroparesis – a common complication of T1D.

Prof Peter Thorn
Determining new concepts in how blood vessels and arrangement of beta cells in the pancreas influence cellular structure and function.

A/Prof Anandwardhan Hardikar (Helmsley Charitable Trust funding)
The DREAM-Nano Study: Developing a robust and efficient analytical method for diabetes progression using nanotechnology.

Prof Ranjeny Thomas (Helmsley Charitable Trust funding)
Preservation of pancreatic beta cells using antigen-specific tolerizing immunotherapy in children with type 1 diabetes.

Prof Maria Craig (JDRF International funding)
Characterising the population of viruses that trigger islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes using virome capture sequencing.

Translation Award

The Translation Award provides seed funding and other support to accelerate high-impact research towards translation and commercialisation. The program also provides tailored training, mentoring and network development with potential industry partners, to expand the commercial skillsets of Australian researchers.

Current and Past Recipients

Prof Merlin Thomas
Transactivation of RAGE: a novel therapeutic target in T1D

Through a new spin-out company, RAGE Biotech, this research aims to advance the translation of novel first-in-class RAGE transactivation inhibitors towards a new treatment for T1D. It’s expected that these therapies could have broad applicability for the prevention and treatment of T1D and its complications.

Prof Helen Thomas
Accelerating the development of type 1 diabetes therapies

To enable faster progression of novel T1D therapies into clinical trials, this program is establishing a service platform where therapies can be tested in fully validated, industry standard in vitro and in vivo models.

Prof Josephine Forbes
Repurposing KH176, a mitochondrial therapy, to prevent diabetic kidney disease in T1D

In addition to carrying out efficacy trials, the study team are working with Khondrian to establish a commercial pathway for translation of this drug (KH176) for use in young people with T1D at risk of kidney and cardiovascular disease.

Prof Vasso Apostolopoulos
Preventing diabetic progression via a tolerance-inducing vaccine

This study is accelerating the development of an effective immunotherapy for recent-onset T1D with excellent translational potential.

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