INDIANAPOLIS — Eli Lilly and Company and the Indiana Bioscience Research Institute (IBRI), in collaboration with Indiana University School of Medicine, have created the Lilly Diabetes Center of Excellence (LDCE), which aims to establish a nexus of strategically aligned basic diabetes research operations in Indianapolis.
The LDCE will recruit high-potential and established principal investigators (PIs) who aim to pursue cutting-edge research in diabetes, diabetic complications, and related metabolic disorders. The PIs will receive five-year sponsored appointments at the IBRI, subsidized by Lilly, and faculty appointments at IU School of Medicine. Each appointed PI will pursue their area of research with full academic freedom. Lilly will provide opportunities for close collaborations, including access to drug discovery tools and expertise, to allow faculty to rapidly explore the translational potential of their research. The LDCE will also serve as a bridge between academia and industry by providing opportunities for interaction, training, and mentoring across the IBRI, Lilly, and IU School of Medicine.
“Building on Lilly’s nearly 100 years of heritage of diabetes research, we seek to spearhead innovative research right here at home in Indiana,” said Ruth Gimeno, vice president of diabetes and complications at Lilly. “Lilly is excited to join forces with the IBRI and IU School of Medicine on this important initiative to advance diabetes research for the millions who are suffering from this chronic disease.”
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the body does not properly produce or use the hormone insulin. Approximately 30 million Americans1 and an estimated 425 million adults worldwide have diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type globally, accounting for an estimated 90 to 95% of all diabetes cases in the United States alone. More than 695,000 people in Indiana, or 12.9% of the adult population, have diabetes.3
“The Lilly Diabetes Center of Excellence is a prime example of why the IBRI was created to foster industry and academic collaboration on research that will ultimately benefit patients and significantly improve human health,” said Rainer Fischer, chief executive officer and chief scientific and innovation officer of the IBRI. “This new center aligns the extensive diabetes research already underway at Lilly, IU School of Medicine and at the IBRI to find new collaborative ways to slow, if not eventually cure diabetes, which afflicts hundreds of millions worldwide.”
“Diabetes is a complex problem that requires a diverse range of expertise and approaches,” said Dr. Raghu Mirmira, director of the IU School of Medicine Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases. “We look forward to collaborating with the talented researchers this center will undoubtedly attract and expect that this partnership will ultimately lead to important advances in the prevention and treatment of diabetes.”
“The IBRI’s Regenerative Medicine and Metabolic Biology group, which focuses extensively on diabetes research in the area of beta cell regeneration, will become part of the new center to help take this work to the next level,” said Robert Considine, professor of medicine at IU School of Medicine and director of the IBRI’s Diabetes Center. Considine will also continue to serve as associate director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded diabetes center at IU School of Medicine, where he has been part of the faculty since 1997.