Eli Lilly and the Indiana Bioscience Research Institute (IBRI) have partnered with Indiana University (IU) School of Medicine to create the Lilly Diabetes Center of Excellence (LDCE), with the goal of establishing a nexus of basic diabetes research operations in Indianapolis.
The LDCE is also designed to bridge academia and industry by providing opportunities for interaction, training, and mentoring by Lilly and the partner institutions (PIs).
The LDCE plans to recruit high-potential and established principal investigators to pursue research in diabetes, diabetic complications, and related metabolic disorders, Lilly said. The PIs will receive five-year sponsored appointments at the IBRI, to be subsidized by Lilly, as well as faculty appointments at IU School of Medicine.
Lilly said it 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 Center of Excellence is designed to build on Lilly’s history and heritage of diabetes treatment, which was established in the 1920s with its introduction to the market of the insulin extract Iletin, and extended in the 1980s with the development of Humulin.
“Building on Lilly's nearly 100 years of heritage of diabetes research, we seek to spearhead innovative research right here at home in Indiana,” Ruth Gimeno, Ph.D., vp of diabetes and complications at Lilly, said in a statement. “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.”
IBRI's Regenerative Medicine and Metabolic Biology group, which focuses extensively on diabetes research in beta cell regeneration, will become part of the new center, stated Robert Considine, Ph.D., professor of medicine at IU School of Medicine and director of the IBRI's Diabetes Center.
Dr. Considine will also continue to serve as associate director of the NIH-funded diabetes center at IU School of Medicine, where he has been part of the faculty since 1997.
“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,” added Rainer Fischer, Ph.D., CEO and chief scientific and innovation officer of the IBRI.