NEW YORK, Feb. 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- JDRF, the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, announced today the formation of a new external Research Advisory Committee (RAC) comprised of individuals internationally renowned for their expertise in research as well as the care and treatment of those with T1D.
The new Research Advisory Committee will be led by Dr. Mark Atkinson, Professor, Departments of Pathology and Pediatrics, at the University of Florida. The committee will also include Dr. Roy Beck, Executive Director of the JAEB Center for Health Research, Tampa, Florida, Dr. Matthias Hebrok of the University of California-San Francisco, Dr. Douglas Melton of Harvard University, Dr. Lori Laffel of Harvard University and Joslin Diabetes Center, and Dr. Robert Sherwin of Yale University. Two representatives of JDRF's International Board of Directors will also serve on the RAC, Dr. Stephen Newman and Margery Perry.
"JDRF is honored to receive support and guidance from such an esteemed group of scientists who are leaders in the T1D research field, represent a variety of perspectives, and have long histories with JDRF," said Derek Rapp, JDRF President and Chief Executive Officer. "The new RAC will help JDRF work optimally in the interests of the organization, the broader research community, and everyone who shares JDRF's vision of a world without T1D."
The RAC will advise JDRF on matters of policy pertaining to research philosophy and procedures to help the organization be most effective. The committee will serve as a forum to discuss priority research-related issues and key opportunities that will help JDRF carry out the mission of the organization to bring the greatest good for the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time.
"I am thrilled for the opportunity to help JDRF continue to make a tremendous difference in the lives of millions living with or affected by type 1 diabetes," said Dr. Atkinson. "Researchers are making great progress towards that goal and I am excited to be part of this new process that seeks to help these dedicated individuals achieve their aspirations. Our advisory committee will be comprised of persons diverse in background, but share a common belief in seeing impacting therapies developed and a cure for the disease identified."
In addition to serving as the RAC Chair, Dr. Atkinson will also act as a Senior External Advisor to JDRF. Dr. Atkinson has a 32 year history in T1D research, including 27 years of volunteer service to JDRF. He previously served the organization in numerous ways, from chairing committees providing guidance to JDRF's research mission to serving as Chair for the Medical Scientific Review Committee and many of its research review panels. In recognition of these efforts, he is the only individual to be a recipient of all three major JDRF research awards -- the David Rumbough Award, the Gerald and Gayla Grodsky Award, and the Mary Tyler Moore and S. Robert Levine Excellence in Clinical Research Award.
In January, JDRF announced the promotion of Steven C. Griffen, M.D. to Senior Vice President of Research. Dr. Griffen, will lead the relationships that JDRF has forged with its important corporate and industry partners, other non-profits, governments and the broader type 1 diabetes research community. Dr. Griffen will continue his role focusing on moving identified potential therapies into the clinic to establish their validity in early phase human clinical trials. Prior to joining JDRF, Dr. Griffen served as leader of the AstraZeneca/Bristol Myers Squibb Alliance Type 1 Diabetes Development team. His deep clinical experience and industry expertise as a practicing endocrinologist at University of California, San Francisco and University of California, Davis, combined with his previous research knowledge will help ensure JDRF continues its vision of a world without type 1 diabetes.
"I am thrilled to name Steve Griffen as the Senior Vice President of Research. This new leadership announcement and the formation of an Advisory Committee represent critical elements to ensuring JDRF is most effective in carrying out its strategic plan," said Rapp. "Steve joined JDRF in July 2014 as Vice President, Translational Development and is eminently qualified to take JDRF to the next level, and I am confident he will do so."
"I am extremely honored to lead the Research Department at JDRF," said Dr. Griffen. "It's such an exciting time in the field of type 1 diabetes research and I know we are making life-changing advances for those living with T1D. I am passionate about this next stage of my involvement with an organization that I'm so inspired and proud to be a part of, and I'm eager to work closely with the dynamic research team and our new Research Advisory Committee to continue our mission to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications."
JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested nearly $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers in more than 100 locations throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement and our vision of a world without T1D. For more information, please visit jdrf.org or follow us on Twitter: @JDRF.