More than 24 million Americans struggle with the medical, financial and emotional effects of diabetes. But, Decade of Discovery: A Minnesota Partnership to Defeat Diabetes expects to pioneer medical breakthroughs and identify treatment protocols that will ultimately cure diabetes before the year 2020.
The initiative is part of the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics, a collaborative effort among Mayo Clinic, the University of Minnesota and the state of Minnesota.
Patients with diabetes have too much glucose in their blood, which can lead to serious health problems. Over time, diabetes, if not managed effectively, can increase the risk of complications such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, bacterial and fungal infections as well as damage to nerves, kidneys and eyes.
"When we look at the quality-of-life impact of diabetes combined with an annual price tag of $170 billion nationally, elevating and expediting Minnesota's ability to tackle this disease is not only the right thing to do, it is a health and economic imperative," says Robert Rizza, M.D., Endocrinology, executive dean of Research at Mayo Clinic.
State, federal, and private funding will help keep alive the goal of curing diabetes. It will take $250 million to $350 million over 10 years to fuel research and position Minnesota as a global leader in medical discovery and treatment. In the meantime, the Minnesota Partnership will help reduce health care costs and generate economic opportunities.
Scientists and diabetes experts from Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota will lead the research teams, which will be guided by an oversight committee composed of respected global, national and regional leaders.