The University of Louisville’s Department of Pediatrics is joining an international research team to explore ways to treat and prevent Type 1 diabetes. The department is a participant in TrialNet, which is made up of clinics throughout the world that study the disease. U of L will work with Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, which acts as one of TrialNet’s 18 primary clinical centers.
U of L already studies Type 1 diabetes in children, but the new partnership will extend to families of children with the disease, said Dr. Kupper Wintergerst, director of U of L’s pediatric TrialNet site.
“It is designed to identify individuals who are at high risk of Type 1 diabetes and then take those individuals and then gives us the opportunity to perhaps enroll them in studies that might be able to delay or even prevent Type 1 diabetes from even occurring,” he said.
Family members of persons with Type 1 diabetes will be subject to the normal blood tests and eligible participants may have the chance to enroll in further studies to help prevent the onset of the disease, he said.
“It’s really a doorway to opportunity. And it also, obviously is important, from a clinical standpoint, for that family to be able to test their children when that testing is not available to them outside of TrialNet,” Wintergerst said.
The Annual Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk is Saturday at Churchill Downs, where families will have the opportunity to enroll in the research, he said. Enrollment is open to any and all eligible individuals.