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DRI, Live from Orlando!

by Diabetes Research Institute on Thursday, July 7, 2011 at 11:5am on T1 Diabetes Cure - Global Headquarters and Diabetes Research Institute Facebook pages.

Let's talk Disney!  Yesterday hundreds of families affected by diabetes gathered at “The Most Magical Place on Earth” for the 2011 Friends for Life International Children with Diabetes (CWD) Conference.

Many were excited to learn that - in collaboration with CWD and Ely Lilly and Company - Disney has created a new character.  This adorable monkey named Coco has type 1 diabetes!  The partnership has also resulted in Disney diabetes resources.
One of those resources is the diabetes section of  The DRI Foundation’s very own Diabetes Dad Tom Karlya is featured in a video there at (Scroll down and on the right you will see “Diagnosis Stories, Then and Now.”)    

This morning Dr. Juan Dominguez-Bendala is giving a DRI research update entitled “Stem Cells: New Sources, More Options.”  As the head of the DRI’s pancreatic stem cell development program, he is reviewing progress in creating an unlimited supply of insulin-producing cells. He is describing the pros and cons of embryonic and adult stem cells as a reliable source for islets. And he is also addressing 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.

This afternoon Dr. Alice Tomei of the DRI's tissue engineering team will give a second DRI research update called “Tissue Engineering & Immunology: New Ways to Protect Islets.”  Her talk will cover a new method of encapsulation that eliminates the space between the islet and the capsule that encases it, which as been a problem with traditional capsules - delaying vital oxygen and nutrients from reaching the cell within.  She 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.

The DRI booth in the exhibition hall has had a steady stream of visitors.  You can view photos of some of them – including many who are thrilled to see themselves and the faces of family and friends in the huge Cure collage hanging there – in the album on our page called 2011 Friends for Life Int'l Children with Diabetes Conference.
(Meet Coco there too!!!) Here's the link:!/media/set/?set=a.242660825744845.71001.100000027894750

One more Disney tidbit for you today... The DRI was gifted a one-of-a-kind Mickey Mouse statue.  It stands in the lobby so that every child who enters is greeted by a familiar, friendly face.  :)

Next week we'll be sharing recent research publications that just came out today!


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