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Benaroya Research Institute announces $4.4 million grant for type 1 diabetes

(Seattle, Feb.14, 2013) In a major effort to advance discoveries in type 1 diabetes research, the Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI) established the T1D Exchange Biobank Operations Center with a $4.4 million grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust. The T1D Exchange Biobank Operations Center led by Carla Greenbaum, MD, Director of the Diabetes Research Program at BRI, will coordinate clinical study proposals and sample requests including protocol design, sample procurement and distribution.

Dr. Greenbaum serves on the Joint Steering Committee for the T1D Exchange which offers a comprehensive view of type 1 diabetes including clinical and academic research, real-world data, clinically-annotated biosamples, and patient insights. The T1D Exchange consists of a Clinic Network with access to more than 100,000 patients, a Clinic Registry with over 26,000 well-characterized patients, the online community Glu, and the Biorepository whose goal it is to distribute, share and exchange meaningful data and biosamples to drive collaboration and disseminate knowledge across the type 1 diabetes (T1D) community.

"We are thrilled to see the establishment of the T1D Exchange Biobank Operations Center as a key factor in advancing the mission of T1D Exchange to speed better treatments, therapies and research. Giving biological samples is one way people touched by type 1 diabetes are empowered to contribute to improved outcomes on the path to a cure. We have a strong, productive working relationship with Dr. Carla Greenbaum and her team at the Benaroya Research Institute and are eager to see this collaboration yield data that will be impactful to the type 1 diabetes community," shared Dana Ball, CEO and Cofounder of the T1D Exchange.

BRI was selected to receive this grant to establish the T1D Exchange Biobank Operations Center by the Helmsley Charitable Trust because of the organization's reputation in autoimmune diseases research with a focus in type 1 diabetes and biobanking. Under the direction of Dr. Greenbaum, BRI has created one of the world's most robust biobanks for the study of autoimmune disorders dating back to the year 2000. BRI actively maintains biobanks for eleven different autoimmune diseases. BRI also maintains a registry of healthy people for comparison purposes.

"BRI has a long track record of developing and maintaining biobanks which have led directly to the advancement of understanding autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes. We are excited to be in on the ground floor of an initiative that will have enormous impact on the type 1 diabetes community by helping to facilitate research with a large numbers of participants. This work will accelerate our understanding, hopefully leading to a cure for this disease," notes Dr. Greenbaum.

"We are pleased to support this important initiative, which is in keeping with our strategy of filling gaps and creating tools that help the entire T1D community," said David Panzirer, a Trustee of the Helmsley Charitable Trust.

Contact: Kay Branz
Immune Tolerance Network

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