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Julia Greenstein Part 2, Diabetes Prevention

In part 2 of this Exclusive Interview, Dr. Julia Greenstein talks with Diabetes in Control Publisher Steve Freed during the ADA meeting in San Diego, California about potential for successfully preventing diabetes.

Dr. Julia Greenstein, PhD, is the Vice President of Discovery Research at the JDRF.

Transcript of this video segment:

Steve Freed: I always find it interesting because there’s so many studies going on. If you look back 50 years, how many studies did we have? And if you look at today, all the studies, we are seeing so many changes and so rapid in this day of new technology. I just saw a fellow who is here now, his CGM, which is half the price of the one that’s in the market place right now, is supposed to be even more accurate. The products are just unbelievable out there, you know for type 1 diabetes and even for type 2. I had spoken to another researcher while we’ve been here and they’re doing work on preventing diabetes. Not curing it, but preventing it so that you guys would be out of a job in 50 years. Okay.

Julia Greenstein: Well that’s our role. We want to put ourselves out of business.

Steve Freed: You know so there’s studies on helping to, you know, reduce the risk from all the complications from type 1 diabetes and now there’s studies they actually prevent diabetes. You wouldn’t call that a cure because it’s not going to help those people that already have it.

Julia Greenstein: Right.

Steve Freed: You know so what do you see out there that you think, that you feel is going to be possibly very successful?

Julia Greenstein: So, JDRF has really built up a portfolio in the area of prevention. I’m an immunologist by training and it’s easier to inhibit an immune response before it starts than it is after it starts and so we’re very interested in doing both, right? We understand that we have to treat people with type 1 diabetes, then that means interrupting an ongoing immune response. But if we can get into people before they start responding to their beta cells, we think it will be very much easier to deflect the immune system, so to speak. And we’re learning about what kinds of things the beta cell does that actually may trigger the immune response that causes type 1. And so it’s potential that we can inhibit that beta cell stress without even bothering an immune response control element in people for prevention and so we’re starting to learn about staging of type 1 diabetes. JDRF was instrumental in pulling together key opinion leaders and other societies engaged in type 1 diabetes research and we now have 3 stages of type 1: people who are autoantibody positive that still don’t have a beta cell defect or dysglycemia. Those people have type 1 diabetes if they have two separate autoantibodies. They will over the course, at least in children, over the next 5 to 10 years, get a diagnosis of clinical type 1 diabetes and so that gives us a patient population to start testing some potential interventions and we’re very excited about that.

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