Research Patient Opportunities

Type I Diabetes Research

Scientist with microscope and notebook

The Division of Pediatric Endocrinology at the University of Minnesota is very active in type 1 diabetes clinical research. We hope this research leads us to a cure for type 1 diabetes. As a patient at the University, we want you and your family to be aware of our current research studies as there may be studies you would like to participate in. While we encourage you to consider participating, if you wish not to participate, the doctors, nurses, and staff will still treat you the same.

Our studies focus on all stages of type 1 diabetes from pre-diagnosis to newly diagnosed individuals to those who have been diagnosed for many years. Currently we are looking for participants in the following studies:

For Family Members

For Family Members

If you have a relative with type 1 diabetes, your chances of being diagnosed are 15 times greater than a person with no family history of the disease.  Although the symptoms of diabetes seem to appear suddenly, the disease actually will begin months to years before symptoms appear.

Pathway to Prevention (Natural History Study)

A simple screening blood test can identify an increased risk for developing diabetes up to 10 years before symptoms occur. This study looks for certain markers in the blood (autoantibodies) that signal this increased risk. On average 95% of people who have this blood test are found to have a low risk of developing type 1 diabetes. But the 5% of people who are identified as having an increased risk may be eligible for a prevention study. Parents and siblings ages 1-45 are eligible for screening. Cousins, aunts and uncles ages 1-20 can be screened as well.

Call Jessica Ruedy at (612) 624-6617 or ask the clinic staff if you would like to participate in this important study or any of the studies described below.

CTLA-4 (Abatacept) Prevention Study

*Must be participant in Pathway to Prevention

This study is open to ages 6 and up, whose blood tests show a risk of developing type 1 diabetes within the next 5 years. It involves 14 infusions of drug/placebo over 12 months, in an attempt to prevent or delay type 1.

CD4+ TCell Study

Open to parents and siblings of individuals with type 1 diabetes. Requires a single blood draw and can be done during a diabetes clinic appointment. Compensation is provided. The goal of this study is to better understand the cause of type 1 diabetes. This information will help with future drug development for diabetes prevention.

PEDALon - Takeda Study

This study is testing an investigational medication for children with type 2 diabetes. Researchers are studying whether this medication may help children maintain blood sugar levels. To qualify, your child must be 10 to 17 years of age, have type 2 diabetes and  have trouble keeping blood sugar levels stable.

For Persons With Type 1 Diabetes

For Persons With Type 1 Diabetes

Studies for people recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 

We often have studies for people just recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. On average people have about 10-20% of their insulin producing beta cells left when they are diagnosed with diabetes.  Some of our research is interested in looking at why the immune system s fighting these insulin making cells and some of our research is looking at ways that we can save those cells that are left. If we can save the cells that are left we think people may continue to produce some of their own insulin and may have less risk for complications later in life. Please call Chris Kwong at (612) 624-2922 or ask the clinic staff if you would like to hear more about these studies.

Studies for people with established type 1 diabetes 

Our studies for people with established diabetes often focus on better ways to manage diabetes and prevet complications. We sometimes work with insulin pump and glucometer manufacturers to find better ways to test blood sugars and give insulin. We also do studies to help determine the progression of the disease and hopefully find ways to prevent complications.

CD4+ TCell Study

Open to ages 3-45 diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Requires a single blood draw and can be done during a clinic appointment. Compensation is provided.  The goal of this study is to better understand the cause of type 1 diabetes. This information will help with future drug development for diabetes prevention.

Growth Disorders

Versartis Trial in Children to Access Long-Acting Growth Hormone (VERTICAL)

This is a Phase 1b/2a study of VRS-317 (long-acting growth hormone) in pediatric patients with growth hormone deficiency.  During Phase 1b, pediatric patients will receive a single subcutaneous injection of VRS-317.  During the Phase 2a stage, patients will receive 6 months of VRS-317 treatment at dose levels selected from the Phase 1b stage.  The primary endpoints for the study are to determine the safety and efficacy of repeat dose VRS-317. 

MPS I, II, and VI

Longitudinal Study of Bone and Endocrine Disease in Children with MPS I, II, and VI: A Multicenter Study of the Lysosomal Disease Network

The purpose of this study is to determine the progression of bone and endocrine disease in children with MPS I, II, and VI.  These data are needed in children with MPS to 1) determine the long-term benefit and limitations of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) and/or enzyme replacement therapy (ERT), 2) direct the development of further therapeutic options, and 3) provide natural history data for future therapeutic clinical trials.  This is a 5-year, multi-centered, longitudinal study.  Participants will have annual bone, body composition, and endocrine evaluations for the duration of the study.

Contact for more information

Jane Kennedy, RN, CCRP
University of Minnesota
Division of Endocrinology

(612) 626-5609
kenne634@umn.edu