Your Gifts Are Fueling Diabetes Discoveries


July 13, 2016
Topics: Pediatric Research, Diabetes



diabetes research blog image
Herman B Wells Center Diabetes Research Team

Donors’ support has led to a banner year for the Riley diabetes research program. Gifts from donors helped the IU Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases attract $4.5 million in funding in 2015. The center is now designated as one of only 16 National Institutes for Health (NIH) Diabetes Research Centers in the country.

Your gifts are fueling exciting discoveries. Drs. Raghu Mirmira and Carmella Evans-Molina are leading an international team of investigators whose goal is to identify early DNA biomarkers of type 1 diabetes. This development has the potential to help doctors use a blood test to diagnose patients before symptoms appear, and then use beta cell preserving drugs to prevent the onset of diabetes.

Support from Riley Children’s Foundation donors has also allowed growth of the Center through the recruitment of new “rising stars” in the area of diabetes research:

  • Amelia Linnemann, Ph.D. - Dr. Linneman’s work focuses on core concepts of inflammatory mediators promoting beta cell growth and survival in childhood type 1 diabetes. She has discovered a novel intra-islet inflammation signaling pathway.
  • Hongxia Ren, Ph.D. - Dr. Ren studies energy balance and glucose metabolism. She is currently supported by an NIH Pathway to Independence award—a highly prestigious grant given to only a few researchers throughout the country each year. 
  • Emily Sims, M.D. - Dr. Sims, a pediatric endocrinologist at Riley Hospital, joined the Pediatric Diabetes Research Group as an intern in 2007 and has been promoted to Assistant Professor in the Wells Center for Pediatric Research and has established her own independent research lab. Dr. Sims conducts research focusing on defining the role of microRNA-21 in B cell function during development of type 1 diabetes in children.
  • Kok Lim Kua, M.D. - Dr. Kua studies how changes in fetal environment in maternal diabetes lead to development of diabetes in children. The goal of his research is to prevent maternal-neonatal diabetes transmission. Dr. Kua has received many prestigious awards, including a $50,000 intramural award from the Children’s Miracle Network.

Thank you for helping Riley make dramatic strides in advancing care for children with diabetes.


Riley Blogger

The Riley Blog is written and/or edited by members of the Riley Children's Foundation Communications Staff.


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