Scientists honored with 'Excellence in Clinical Research Award'

St. Louis, Mo. - 2007 Mary Tyler Moore, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's International Chairman, and her husband S. Robert Levine, M.D., will present the fifth annual Excellence In Clinical Research Award to a group of pioneering researchers for their work in regenerating beta cells -- which are destroyed in type 1 diabetes -- as a way to delay the onset of type 1 diabetes. The award will be presented at JDRF's annual conference in St. Louis.

The award recipients are Stephen J. Brand, M.D., Ph.D., who co-founded Waratah Pharmaceuticals to further the development of beta cell regeneration; Tony Cruz, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer and a founder of Toronto-based Transition Therapeutics, which merged with Waratah Pharmaceuticals; and Alex Rabinovitch, M.D., a Professor of Medicine, co-director of the Muttart Diabetes Research & Training Centre at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and a member of the Scientific Advisory Board at Transition Therapeutics, Inc.

This year's recipients are being acknowledged for developing and testing beta cell regeneration therapy initially in preclinical research and now in the clinic. In early preclinical studies, these researchers discovered a combination of hormones that proved to be effective at regenerating the insulin producing beta cells that are lost when people develop type 1 diabetes. These researchers are investigating ways to stimulate the existing beta cells left in diabetes patients to regenerate by applying combination therapies. If combined with therapies that block the autoimmune attack, a treatment that spurs beta cell regeneration could potentially lead to a cure for type 1 diabetes.

"Robert and I are pleased to recognize this group of dedicated and accomplished scientists for their groundbreaking work and the impact they have made on advancing our cure goal of beta cell regeneration," said Mary Tyler Moore, who has been living with type 1 diabetes for nearly 40 years.

Contact: Brenda Cheung
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International

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