Diabetes at the turning point – Industry, research & opportunity
The University of Alberta played a major role in the discovery of insulin nearly one hundred years ago and has since made significant contributions to research in this area. This includes the introduction of the Edmonton Protocol 20 years ago – a major advancement in the treatment of Type 1 diabetes through islet cell transplantation. The Edmonton Metropolitan Region is continuing its role as a global leader in understanding and treating all forms of the disease with companies like Novo Nordisk and Johnson & Johnson investing in the research that is taking place here.
422 million people worldwide have diabetes, the majority living in low-and middle-income countries, and 1.6 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year. Both the number of cases and the prevalence of diabetes have been steadily increasing over the past few decades translating into increased costs for these low and middle income countries making it an issue that cannot be ignored.
The Global Diabetes Drugs market is valued at $57 billion USD in 2018 and will reach $87 billion USD by the end of 2025, growing at a CAGR of 5.4% during 2019-2025 (source: GlobeNewswire).
This webinar will showcase the various streams of expert research that are taking place in the Edmonton region and provide an overview of the opportunities to build partnerships with industry.
Attendees will also have a chance to see what some of the worlds leading researchers in diabetes are working on at the Alberta Diabetes Institute (ADI) including:
Dr. James Shapiro, Professor, University of Alberta, Department of Surgery
Dr. Shapiro led the clinical team with the “Edmonton Protocol” islet transplant success, and was lead author on the 2000 NEJM study. He was PI on an international trial that replicated the Edmonton success, published in NEJM 2006. As principal investigator on several international islet transplant trial grants, Shapiro has brought in more than $65 million in grant and philanthropic support through the U of A for work on islet transplantation. He has been the recipient of multiple awards, including the Hunterian Medal from the Royal College of Surgeons of England, the Gold Medal in Surgery from the Governor General of Canada, Physician of the Century, and was recently named one of Nature Biotechnology’s most remarkable and influential personalities. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2012, and was recently appointed as the Department of Surgery’s first Canada Research Council’s Chair in Transplantation Surgery and Regenerative Medicine.
Dr. Carla Prado, Director of the Human Nutrition Research Unit, ADI
Dr. Prado is an expert in assessing nutritional status through the precise measurement of body composition and energy metabolism. Her research has shown for the first time the prevalence and clinical implications of sarcopenic obesity (concurrent appearance of low muscle and high fat) in cancer, and has provided evidence of the independent effect of body composition on cancer recurrence, treatment and survival. The focus of her current research program is to develop targeted nutrition interventions for the prevention and treatment of low muscle mass in patients with cancer. She is currently the Principal Investigator of three randomized controlled trials investigating the impact of nutrition intervention on body composition and health. The Human Nutrition Research Unit is a one-stop shop for clinical research that is open to researchers from around the world.
Dr. Greg Korbutt, Scientific Director of the Alberta Cell Manufacturing Facility
A member of the original Edmonton Protocol team, Dr. Korbutt continues to drive towards making freedom from daily insulin injections a reality for diabetics. He and his team are developing a safe source of islets from neonatal pigs for clinical use, creating a “scaffold” as a more hospitable environment for transplanted islet cells to survive longer.
The U of A is poised to deliver stem-cell treatments to patients thanks to the Alberta Cell Manufacturing Facility―the only facility in Western Canada able to produce therapeutic-grade cells that can be used in patients.
Dr. Patrick MacDonald, Director, ADI IsletCore
Dr. MacDonald is a Professor of Pharmacology and the Director of the ADI IsletCore. His research group runs two interconnected programs. One focuses on basic cell biology research into the regulation of pancreatic islet hormone production in health and diabetes. The second is a tissue bank resource of live and fixed pancreas and islet samples from organ donors with and without diabetes for researchers around the world. They combine electrical, biochemical, and genomic technologies to assess links between cell function and transcriptional/signaling pathways and are increasingly interested in machine learning approaches to analysis of our data.
Dr. Vincent Rogers, Director of Operations, ADI, University of Alberta
Dr. Rogers plays a lead role in the acquisition and allocation of resources as they relate to research activities of the ADI, the Cores, the Clinical Research Unit, Principal Investigators and trainees. This includes strategic planning for the translation of discovery research in diabetes to clinical and population health applications. He is also the supervisor for ADI’s clinical research unit.
Dr. Peter Light, Director of the Alberta Diabetes Institute
Dr. Charles A. Allard Chair in Diabetes Research
Research at the Alberta Diabetes Institute spans the spectrum from ground-breaking discoveries at the molecular level to population-based research that guides new health practices, with expertise in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. They are dedicated to translating discovery science into health solutions for the prevention, treatment and cure of diabetes.
Peter’s research is focused on transport processes controlling cellular excitability, utilizing a combination of electrophysiological, biochemical and molecular techniques to study the biophysics, physiology and pharmacology of ion channels and exchangers at the molecular, cellular, organ and whole organism levels.
Reg Joseph, CEO, Health City – Edmonton
Reg has 20 years of experience spanning the biotechnology and high technology sectors. He has a wealth of expertise in both the biomedical sciences as well as business development. Health City is a national leader in synthetic health data. Healthcare data and its analysis holds a lot of potential for both companies and innovators wanting to improve healthcare. Patient privacy concerns have often hindered its use. Health City has recently had its synthetic data set validated successfully proving the validity of their dataset, introducing an extremely interesting opportunity to researchers working in the life sciences sector.