Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Grant and Matching Funds Build Innovative Center 

BOSTON, April 8, 2014 — Today, Joslin Diabetes Center opened its new Translational Center for the Cure of Diabetes at its campus in the heart of Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Governor Deval L. Patrick cut the ceremonial ribbon, along with Joslin President & CEO, John Brooks and the President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D. In January 2012, Joslin, the world leader in diabetes research and care, received a $5 million grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), among the highest amounts ever received to support diabetes research in Massachusetts. The grant was matched with $5.8 million in funds raised from generous Joslin donors, and a total of $10.8 million was used to build the comprehensive center. 

“This is an exciting day for Joslin.  Our life’s work is to find a cure for diabetes.  As this pandemic accelerates we need to prevent it and find innovative ways to care for those who are impacted by it,” said John Brooks, President & CEO of Joslin Diabetes Center. “This opening today would not have been possible without the grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and the matching funds from Joslin donors. With this additional tool in our arsenal, we will accelerate our clinical and research efforts, develop translational studies for curing Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and will advance our work in diabetes prevention and obesity.”

In June of 2008 Governor Patrick signed the ten-year, $1 billion Life Sciences Initiative at the Joslin Diabetes Center, surrounded by children with diabetes; it was through this initiative that the grant funding for Joslin was made possible. 

“In 2008 we stood at Joslin and launched our Life Sciences Initiative, and today I’m proud we’ve come full circle,” said Governor Patrick.  “Joslin’s new center will further advance our global leadership in the life sciences while providing life-saving work and hope for millions of patients around the world.” 

 The project, completed ahead of schedule, renovated nearly 20,000 square feet of space. It created approximately 50 construction jobs and will create approximately 50 new permanent jobs in the life sciences. 

More than 25 million Americans have diabetes, a number that is increasing by one million per year.  In Massachusetts, more than 400,000 adults have been diagnosed with diabetes, and these numbers are increasing at epidemic rates (61% in the last 12 years).  The cost of diabetes in the Bay State is $4.3 billion annually.

“The Center is using its capital dollars strategically to invest in the strengths of our state’s different regions and to create resources and capabilities that are uniquely found in Massachusetts and make us a model for the world,” said Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D., President & CEO of the MLSC. “Joslin is the world’s leading center for research and for the care of those with diabetes, and our MLSC grant for their new Translational Center for the Cure of Diabetes is a great example of our strategy at work.”

The Center will foster new research approaches, whereby basic, translational and clinical researchers work side-by-side and collaborate with Joslin’s clinical team, enabling the latest innovative technologies and new biomedical discoveries to advance. In addition to the Clinical Research Center and basic labs, the Center contains an exercise physiology research unit where clinical research will take place. It also has a gym, where Joslin patients will work out with exercise physiologists and receive personalized instruction, in addition to blood glucose and blood pressure checks.  The Translational Center for the Cure of Diabetes space will truly live up to its name, by combining bench research, with clinical research studies and the engagement of Joslin patients in life-altering exercise programs designed by the Center’s experts.

The Translational Center for the Cure of Diabetes encompasses unique, yet interrelated, sub-projects that bridge clinical research, clinical care, and basic research with translational programs to ensure that Joslin continues to advance its “clinic to research to clinic” solutions. This cross-pollination of clinical and research disciplines is critical because the cure for diabetes is a vexing goal due to the complexity of the disease. Joslin expects the Translational Center to foster new research approaches whereby basic, translational and clinical researchers work side-by-side and collaborate with Joslin’s clinical team in an interactive and supportive environment, enabling exciting new ideas to flourish.