Fighting Diabetes and Its Complications Head-on
The epidemic of diabetes sweeping through much of the world is bringing with it a tremendous increase in the number of patients who suffer from kidney and heart complications. Diabetes now accounts for almost half of kidney failure and a third of heart failure hospitalizations in Canada. Despite growing recognition of the high prevalence of kidney and heart failure among diabetic patients, treatment has changed little in almost 20 years.
As Canada Research Chair in Diabetes Complications, Dr. Richard E. Gilbert will explore the potential of new drug-based, biological and progenitor cell treatments for kidney and heart disease in diabetes.
Even though diabetes is a disease that affects a number of different organs, traditional treatment approaches often focus on single organs. In addition, there has also been a sharp divide between the researchers doing theoretical research and those performing clinical research.
Gilbert plans to not only explore common mechanisms and treatments across multiple organ systems, but also to bridge the gap between theory and clinical practice by drawing from his experience in epidemiology, pharmacology, cell biology and molecular biology. This integrated approach is already proving successful with new drug- and cell-based treatments targeting fibrosis, a key mechanism in the development of kidney and heart disease in diabetes.
There is no better time than the present to address the desperate need to find remedies for cardio-renal disease in diabetes. Through Gilbert’s research, Canadians will have new therapies for the treatment, prevention—and possibly even the reversal—of the complications of diabetes.