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SEATTLE, Wash. - (Nov. 19, 2007) - Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI) has been awarded a $9.4 million grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to accelerate advanced study of the causes and solutions for autoimmune (Type-1) diabetes. The five-year grant will support the JDRF - BRI Center for Translational Research, focused on the direct translation of basic research discoveries into clinical trials and therapies for patients. BRI is one of seven JDRF-designated autoimmune diabetes research centers worldwide.

This grant award will fund three large research teams at BRI, along with clinical and technology resources, in a highly integrated research effort designed to investigate the disease using basic research and clinical trials, across the fields of genomics, immunology and cell biology. The center is also a collaborative resource for other research projects supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association and JDRF.

"Diabetes is a challenging disease, requiring a highly efficient team in support of discoveries in diagnostics, treatments and cures to serve patients and their families. Today we know a lot about the genetic markers and autoimmune cells responsible for causing Type 1 diabetes, and now can focus on ways to prevent and treat, even very early in the disease process. It is an exciting time in Type 1 diabetes research because we now are bringing basic science discoveries to patients," said Jerry Nepom, MD, PhD, Director of Benaroya Research Institute.

"BRI is the Pacific Northwest coordinating center for NIH-funded clinical trials in Type 1 diabetes. In combination with the JDRF - BRI Center for Translational Research, this establishes a national resource for early exploration of concepts from the Type 1 diabetes research community in a clinical setting. We are grateful to the JDRF for their vision and important support," Nepom continued.

About Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason
Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason (BRI), founded in 1956, works to unlock the mysteries of the immune system. Its team of world-renowned scientists is focused on identifying causes and cures for devastating diseases including diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and cancer. BRI is an international leader in immune system and autoimmune disease research with a focus on translating laboratory discoveries to real-life applications.

Alisha Mark
Media Relations
(206) 341-1509

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