Joining forces to fight type 1 diabetes

ENDIA Study participant sitting on grass

Ivy, two, ENDIA Study participant

Thanks to philanthropic funding from JDRF and the Helmsley Charitable Trust, experts at the Robinson Research Institute have been collaborating with research institutions across the country to uncover environmental factors that contribute to type 1 diabetes.

1500 newborns who have an immediate relative with type 1 diabetes are being observed in the Environmental Determinants of Islet Autoimmunity (ENDIA) Study. Led by Professor Jennifer Couper, the ENDIA Study is following participants from the prenatal period onwards, to understand the origins of childhood type 1 diabetes. The study officially began in 2013, following several years of planning and participant recruitment. Working together, researchers across the nation will continue to monitor participants until they are ten years old.

“By discovering what triggers a child’s immune system to set-off on a path to type 1 diabetes, we can work out how to intervene. Philanthropic support is enabling us to expand our research and provides hope to families that one day children will be saved from a type 1 diabetes diagnosis.” Professor Jennifer Couper, Head of Paediatrics, Adelaide Medical School

The ENDIA Study is a world-leading collaboration with each research institution providing an area of expertise. The University of Adelaide is leading analysis of nutritional factors during pregnancy and breast feeding, and possible links to type 1 diabetes risk. By sharing resources and knowledge across institutions, researchers gain a greater understanding of the environmental factors preceding type 1 diabetes, which is key in building a future free of the disease.

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