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DRI Heads to Children with Diabetes Conference

by Diabetes Research Institute on Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 11:51am on T1 Diabetes Cure - Global Headquarters and Diabetes Research Institute Facebook pages.

Hello DRI Thursday friends!

Our many research faculty who presented at the ADA Conference are back in Miami and work continues in our labs – but our next stop: the Children with Diabetes Friends for Life Conference in Orlando. 

On Wednesday, hundreds of families will gather at this year's event to learn about the latest diabetes research, tools and technologies, tips for healthy living and a great time too!

The DRI and CWD have been good friends and longtime partners in this conference and other activities. Many of our scientists, Foundation staff and friends have been part of this conference since its very first year and will definitely be there again next week. To learn more about CWD, visit
DRI presenters include Dr. Jay Skyler, co-director of the Institute and national chairman for TrialNet. In his talk, "Can T1D be prevented?,” Dr. Skyler will review the results of the recently publicized studies.  Learn more at

Dr. Alice Tomei of the DRI's tissue engineering team will present two areas of her research. The first is her new method to protect insulin-producing cells with a tight-fitting coating, or capsule.  This method eliminates the space between the islet and the capsule that encases it, which has been a problem with traditional capsules - delaying vital oxygen and nutrients from reaching the cell within. She will show the process and goals of this technology.

Dr. Tomei will also describe her research adapted from observations in cancer patients. She and her colleagues are exploring ways to harness the ability of tumor cells to avoid immune destruction and apply those same signaling barriers to diabetes – to prevent the destruction of insulin-producing cells.

Dr. Juan Dominguez-Bendala, head of the DRI's pancreatic stem cell development program, will review progress in creating an unlimited supply of insulin-producing cells. The talk will describe the pros and cons of embryonic and adult stem cells as a reliable source for islets. He will also address the critical issue of safety and how "suicide genes" can achieve a double fail safe method to prevent the growth of tumors in people receiving stem cell derived tissue.

Other DRI and Foundation staff will be participating in additional talks, including Gary Kleiman, senior director of medical development and one of the DRI’s islet cell transplant recipients, who is part of a panel discussing how to become involved in clinical trials. Also presenting is Diabetes Dad Tom Karlya, vice president of the DRI Foundation and ever-present at CWD, who is presenting various topics.

At the DRI Foundation booth there will be a HUGE replica of the Be Part of the CURE banner that now hangs in the lobby of the Diabetes Research Institute. Those who participated in this campaign last fall can see the photos they uploaded up close. Plus, since Children with Diabetes was a sponsor of this campaign, they loaded lots of photos from recent conferences. So you may be a part of the CURE too!

Plus, Tom Karlya along with Monica and Lauren Lanning, who are part of CWD, have created a fun contest under the banner of Team CWD, in which kids can gather points and win prizes. This year, the contest, called America Rocks, kicks off at the DRI Foundation booth so be sure to stop by for all the fun and festivities.



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