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Fact Sheet and Backgrounders

Improving the lives of all people with diabetes and offering the greatest hope for a cure

Joslin Diabetes Center is the world’s leading diabetes research and clinical care organization. At Joslin, the world’s best researchers and clinicians prevent, treat and strive to cure diabetes and its complications. Our discoveries improve the lives of people with diabetes worldwide and offer the greatest hope for a cure.

Among the Harvard Medical School Affiliated institutions, Joslin is one of the most research-intensive academic medical centers and is unique in its sole focus on diabetes.

Founded in 1898 by a single physician, Elliott P. Joslin, M.D., Joslin today has more than 600 employees in three major divisions:

  • Joslin Research, a highly collaborative team of more than 300 people with 40 faculty level investigators undertaking the largest research program aimed at preventing and curing type 1 and type 2 diabetes and their long-term complications.
  • Joslin Clinic, the world’s first and most respected diabetes care facility, which cares for 23,000 adult and pediatric patients a year.
  • Joslin Strategic Initiatives, which develops and markets innovative programs, products and services that expand the availability of Joslin knowledge and expertise to people with diabetes and the clinicians who care for them.

Joslin Research

Joslin research comprises the most comprehensive and productive effort in diabetes research anywhere in the world. With 40 faculty-level investigators and a $40 million annual budget, Joslin researchers focus on unraveling the biologic, biochemical and genetic processes that underlie the development of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and related complications.

Joslin research is highly innovative and imaginative, employing the newest tools in genetics, genomics and proteomics to identify abnormalities that may play a role in the development of diabetes and its complications. Joslin clinic patients, and others with diabetes, have the option of participating in clinical trials at Joslin to help translate basic research into treatment innovations.

Joslin has one of the largest diabetes training programs in the world, educating 120 M.D. and Ph.D. researchers each year, many of whom go on to lead diabetes initiatives at leading institutions all over the globe.

Joslin Clinic

The Joslin clinic, since its inception, has focused on aggressive, comprehensive care of the patient.  With the world’s largest team of board-certified physicians expert in treating diabetes, the highest concentration of Certified Diabetes Educators, the largest patient database of its kind, and the largest patient population using insulin pumps and continuous glucose monitors, Joslin’s 23,000 patients benefit from highly specialized care.

Dr. Elliott P. Joslin is credited with creating modern day diabetes care, which utilizes a combined medical and educational team approach to offer knowledge and skills to patients and their families so they can manage the daily challenges of diabetes and prevent complications.

The Joslin clinic's JoslinCare teams are made up of highly specialized and multi-skilled experts in all facets of diabetes, including adult and pediatric diabetes, kidney disease, eye care, mental health and pregnancy, as well as Certified Diabetes Educators – nurses, dietitians, exercise physiologists, nurse practitioners and mental health professionals.

Joslin clinicians are relentless in their pursuit of diabetes complications, which are a devastating burden to the patient, their family and the national healthcare system. The impact Joslin has in preventing complications is second to none. Joslin's clinic consistently ranks among the best in the care of patients with diabetes as measured by national quality indicator data collected by American Diabetes Association, National Committee on Quality Assurance and numerous private and for-profit health data consortiums, including Bridges to Excellence.

Beetham Eye Institute: Integral to JoslinCare is the delivery of the world’s finest diabetes eye care through Joslin’s Beetham Eye Institute. Techniques pioneered at the Beetham have preserved the vision of more than nine million people around the globe.

Pediatrics: Joslin has a reputation for pioneering care and support of pediatric patients and their families. We care for the majority of children with diabetes in Massachusetts and more than a quarter of all children with diabetes in New England.  Joslin provides the widest range of patient and family support programs anywhere, including groups for families with very young and school-age children and for parents of teens with diabetes; and multiple clinical research studies evaluating new approaches to family-based care..

Joslin Strategic Initiatives

Joslin’s Strategic Initiatives Division focuses on improving the quality of diabetes care around the globe.

Professional Education:  Joslin has the largest and most expansive diabetes continuing medical education (CME) program in the world. Joslin’s CME programs train more healthcare providers than any other diabetes institution.  Since 2002, Joslin professional education has reached more than 500,000 healthcare providers.

Affiliated Centers:  Joslin has 38 clinical care affiliates in the U.S., and two internationally, where an additional 170,000 annual patient visits take place. The Joslin Vision Network telemedicine initiative delivers Joslin-quality diagnostic eye and health services at remote locations in the U.S.

Publications: Joslin also provides a wealth of patient education through books, videos and online services, allowing people around the globe to learn how Joslin experts recommend they manage their disease.   

Page last updated: January 16, 2013