For Immediate Release - April 08, 2014


Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Grant and Matching Funds Build Innovative Center

Joslin Diabetes Center's Translational Center Opening

Governor Patrick celebrates the opening of the Joslin Diabetes Center’s Translational Center for the Cure of Diabetes. (Photo: Eric Haynes / Governor's Office)

BOSTON – Tuesday, April 8, 2014 – Governor Deval Patrick today joined Joslin President & CEO, John Brooks and the President & CEO of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center (MLSC), Susan Windham-Bannister to cut the ribbon on the new Joslin Diabetes Center’s Translational Center for the Cure of Diabetes at its campus in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. In January 2012, Joslin received a $5 million grant from the MLSC, among the highest amounts ever received to support diabetes research in Massachusetts. The grant was matched with funds raised from Joslin donors, and a total of $10.8 million was used to build the comprehensive center.

“In 2008 we stood at Joslin and launched our Life Sciences Initiative, and today I’m proud we’ve come full circle,” said Governor Patrick. “Joslin’s new center will further advance our global leadership in the life sciences while providing life-saving work and hope for millions of patients around the world.” 

The new research facility was funded through a $5 million grant from the MLSC’s capital program, matched by $5.8 million in funds from Joslin donors. The Center will foster new research approaches, whereby basic, translational and clinical researchers work side-by-side and collaborate with Joslin’s clinical team, enabling the latest innovative technologies and new biomedical discoveries to advance so they can be translated into solutions that help patients and those at risk of diabetes. 

In addition to the Clinical Research Center and basic labs, the Center contains an exercise physiology research unit where clinical research will take place. It also has a gym, where Joslin patients will work with exercise physiologists and receive personalized instruction, in addition to blood glucose and blood pressure checks. The Translational Center for the Cure of Diabetes space will live up to its name, by combining bench research, with clinical research studies and the engagement of Joslin patients in life-altering exercise programs designed by the Center’s experts. 

The Translational Center for the Cure of Diabetes encompasses unique, yet interrelated, sub-projects that bridge clinical research, clinical care and basic research with translational programs to ensure that Joslin continues to advance its “clinic to research to clinic” solutions. This cross-pollination of clinical and research disciplines is critical because the cure for diabetes is a vexing goal due to the complexity of the disease, as it has different forms and complications that affect the eyes, kidneys, nerves and the cardiovascular system. Joslin expects the Translational Center to foster new research approaches whereby basic, translational and clinical researchers work side-by-side and collaborate with Joslin’s clinical team in an interactive and supportive environment, enabling new ideas to flourish, and where the latest innovative technologies and new biomedical discoveries are advanced so that they can be translated quickly into solutions that help patients and others with or at risk of diabetes. 

“This is an exciting day for Joslin,” said Brooks. “Our life’s work is to find a cure for diabetes; as this pandemic accelerates we need to prevent it and find innovative ways to care for those who are impacted by it. This opening today would not have been possible without the grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and the matching funds from Joslin donors. With this additional tool in our arsenal, we will accelerate our clinical and research efforts, develop translational studies for curing Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, and will advance our work in diabetes prevention and obesity.”

The project, completed ahead of schedule, renovated nearly 20,000 square feet of space. It created approximately 50 construction jobs and will create approximately 50 new permanent jobs in the life sciences. More than 25 million Americans have diabetes, a number that is increasing by one million per year.  In Massachusetts, more than 400,000 adults have been diagnosed with diabetes, and these numbers are continuing to increase at high rates. The cost of diabetes in the Bay State is $4.3 billion annually.

Through the MLSC, Massachusetts is investing $1 billion over 10 years in the growth of the state’s life sciences ecosystem. These investments are being made under the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative, proposed by Governor Patrick in 2007, and passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Patrick in 2008 at Joslin Diabetes Center. To date, the MLSC has awarded more than $370 million to support life sciences-related capital projects across the state, creating thousands of jobs and more than 1.3 million square feet of new education, research and manufacturing space.

“The Center is using its capital dollars strategically to invest in the strengths of our state’s different regions and to create resources and capabilities that are uniquely found in Massachusetts and make us a model for the world,” said Windham-Bannister. “Joslin is the world’s leading center for research and for the care of those with diabetes, and our MLSC grant for their new Translational Center for the Cure of Diabetes is a great example of our strategy at work.”

Joslin Diabetes Center, located in Boston, is the world's largest diabetes research and clinical care organization. Joslin is dedicated to ensuring that people with diabetes live long, healthy lives and offers real hope and progress toward diabetes prevention and a cure. Joslin is an independent, nonprofit institution affiliated with Harvard Medical School.

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