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University of Minnesota Receives $40 Million for Type 1 Diabetes Research
Date:12/11/2008

impacting millions of people worldwide," said University president Robert Bruininks. "I want to personally thank the Schulze family for their leadership, passion and generosity. By focusing on such a widespread and devastating disease, they will not only transform lives, but the very nature of global health care."

Through pioneering work by researchers from the newly named Schulze Diabetes Institute, the Stem Cell Institute, the Center for Translational Medicine and other critical University resources, three promising conceptual cures have been identified: human islet transplantation, pig islet transplantation and stem cell-derived islet cells. The Schulze gift will focus on specific efforts to implement these cures.

"The scientists, especially Drs. Hering, Firpo and Blazar and their teams at the University have the passion, determination, experience and knowledge to find a cure for type 1 diabetes," said Richard M. Schulze. "We felt the time was right to choose a direction that would advance to a cure in the next five years. The University of Minnesota, its president and board are committed to collaborating internally and externally to make it the center of excellence it needs to be to accomplish this goal."

The collaborative effort to advance these cures will be led by Hering and Meri Firpo, Ph.D., of the Stem Cell Institute, with support from the Center for Translational Medicine, directed by Bruce Blazar, M.D. Resources throughout the University will be leveraged to achieve this ambitious goal. The pledge is based on achievement milestones that have been established for each year of funding.

Researchers have had success reversing diabetes with human islet cell transplants, but because of the severe shortage of donor organs, and the challenges of immunosuppression, few have benefited from this experimental treatment. University of Minnesota researchers have
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