Research Funding at Work


The American Diabetes Association convenes experts in the field of diabetes research to review grant applications from fellow scientists on all topics related to diabetes and its complications. Through this process, we fund the most promising and innovative science towards the prevention, treatment, and eventual cure of diabetes. While each scientist proposes a unique project, all are dedicated to improving the lives of people with diabetes thorough research.

Type 1 research

Type 1 diabetes is caused by an autoimmune attack on beta-cells, eliminating the ability of the body to produce insulin. In 1921, research led to the discovery of insulin, changing type 1 diabetes from a life-threatening condition to a manageable one.

Type 2 research

Type 2 diabetes is caused by both genetic and environmental factors and impairs the body’s ability to make or use insulin. Research has led to several new classes of medications over the past 25 years, which have collectively improved glucose control and helped to significantly reduce complications caused by diabetes. Fewer heart attacks. Less vision loss. Fewer amputations.

Type 1 and type 2

Type 1 and type 2 diabetes have different underlying causes, but both result in high blood glucose and lead to similar complications.

Prediabetes/insulin resistance

Prediabetes/insulin resistance precedes the development of overt type 2 diabetes and affects as many as 1 in 3 Americans. Having prediabetes puts one at significantly higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes.


Obesity rates have risen sharply over the last few decades. Obesity significantly increases risk for type 2 diabetes and complicates management of type 1 diabetes. In order to reduce the burden of diabetes, research efforts focused on the biology of weight regulation and new approaches to help people lose weight and sustain weight-loss are critical.

Gestational diabetes

Gestational diabetes is diabetes that occurs during pregnancy and typically resolves after the baby is born. Gestational diabetes affects as many as 1 in 10 pregnancies and increases the risk for later development of type 2 diabetes in the mother and the risks for both obesity and type 2 diabetes in the child.