Press release

$1M Awarded by the American Diabetes Association® for COVID-19 and Diabetes Research Projects

September 3, 2020 | Arlington, Virginia

Ten scientists receive funding to investigate the correlation between COVID-19 and Diabetes

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) announced that it has invested $1 million to fund 10 research projects investigating the link between COVID-19 and diabetes. The awarded funds will support basic, translational and clinical studies which will be instrumental to the understanding of this virus and its complications for those living with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2. The 10 recipients have been provided up to $100,000 for one-year of research funding and began their research projects as of July 1, 2020. 

“Most of the severe disease and mortality due to COVID-19 has occurred in those with advanced age and chronic conditions, especially diabetes and cardiovascular disease. We moved thoughtfully, but very quickly, to put funding in place for 10 high-impact research studies that should pay big dividends in our understanding of how to reduce the consequences of COVID-19 in people with diabetes”, said Robert Gabbay, MD, PhD, chief scientific and medical officer for the American Diabetes Association. “These projects are already underway. In less than a year, I believe we’ll have valuable new information that will have a real impact on the health of people with diabetes in facing this crisis.”

People with diabetes have disproportionately felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on many levels, and we must learn more about why 40% of American COVID-19 victims have been people with diabetes, and why Americans with diabetes and other related underlying health conditions are hospitalized 6 times more often than those without. 

The evidence gathered so far about COVID-19 complications in people with diabetes indicates that they are at higher risk for hospitalization and for serious outcomes and death, than people without diabetes. But there is much that is unknown about why those increased risks exist, who is at greater risk, and what treatments may be particularly beneficial in reducing those risks in people with diabetes. We know that besides elevated blood glucose levels, people with diabetes have other factors such as autoimmune responses, inflammatory responses, and types of blood cholesterol that are also different from the general population. These studies will examine those and many other factors to see why diabetes is causing worse outcomes as it relates to COVID-19 and what can be done to provide better COVID-19 care for people with diabetes.


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About the American Diabetes Association
Every day more than 4,000 people are newly diagnosed with diabetes in America. More than 122 million Americans have diabetes or prediabetes and are striving to manage their lives while living with the disease. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For 80 years the ADA has been driving discovery and research to treat, manage and prevent diabetes, while working relentlessly for a cure. We help people with diabetes thrive by fighting for their rights and developing programs, advocacy and education designed to improve their quality of life. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).