The University of Colorado Denver (UC Denver) is world renowned for basic, translational, and clinical diabetes research and treatment of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes (T1D and T2D), and their related complications. The proposed University of Colorado Diabetes Research Center (UC Denver DRC) will strengthen diabetes research in Colorado by providing: 1) state-of-the-art research technologies and specialized resources to maximize effective and innovative research; 2) access to patient samples and data; 3) enrichment programs, education and seminar series to the diabetes community; and 4) by attracting new scientists into the diabetes field through the Pilot and Feasibility program. These objectives will be realized by providing improved infrastructure and access to specialized reagents and resources, and an environment that promotes scientific interactions, research discoveries, and progress towards diabetes treatment and cures. The UC Denver DRC will be primarily located on the rapidly growing Anschutz Medical Campus (AMC) in Aurora, Colorado where the majority of the UC Denver clinical and research departments are located. This unique multi-hospital and academic campus configuration allows for a broad diabetes research base, which currently includes 88 basic, translational, and clinical scientific investigators across 17 departments and divisions at UC AMC who currently bring diabetes/diabetes-related direct cost grant support totaling > $65 million in individual grants and >$14 million in center and training grants. Drs. Lori Sussel, PhD. and Jane Reusch, MD bring together complementary areas of scientific backgrounds and expertise to oversee the organization and scientific focus of the UC Denver DRC. We will implement four Biomedical Research Cores to provide cutting-edge technologies in Clinical Resources (fully integrated databases for tracking of study participants, bio-samples and data), Tissue Procurement and Processing (rodent tissue and islet isolation, human islet and tissue procurement, histology services, cell culture bank), Diabetes Modeling (human stem cell-derived in vitro cell and organoid models, gene editing), and Cell and Tissue Analysis (advanced microscopy, flow cytometry, specialized CyTOF and MIBI reagents for the diabetes community). The UC Denver DRC will also establish a Pilot and Feasibility Program to recruit young faculty into diabetes and diabetes-related research, and encourage established investigators from other fields to enter the diabetes field. The Dean of the UC Denver School of Medicine has pledged to supplement the P&F budget by $100,000 each year to promote an increased diabetes research presence on campus. Finally, the UC Denver DRC Enrichment Program will promote the interaction between diabetes researchers at UC AMC by providing seminar forums for exchange of research findings, providing opportunities to form collaborative relationships, and encouraging cross-pollination between the diverse diabetes communities.
CENTER OVERVIEW PROJECT NARRATIVE The University of Colorado Denver (UC Denver) is renowned for its basic, translational and clinical diabetes research programs, which encompass Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, diabetes complications and autoimmunity. The purpose of the UC Denver Diabetes Research Center (DRC) is to unite this community and facilitate their research endeavors by providing efficient and innovative shared resources, developing enrichment programs to facilitate interactions and collaborations between center members, and implementing a strong pilot and feasibility program to bring new investigators into the diabetes field. These efforts will result in improved understanding of disease etiologies and progression, and promote the development of diabetes treatments and cures.