The Australian Centre for Accelerating Diabetes Innovations officially launched on 30 May

The newly established Australian Centre for Accelerating Diabetes Innovations (ACADI) aims to develop and deliver new discoveries for people with diabetes.

L-R: James McCluskey (Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Research), Associate Professor Elif Ekinci (Director, ACADI), Lauren Kelly (Senior Director TTRA Program, MTPConnect), Dr Susan Alberti AO (Chair, ACADI Council), Professor John Prins (Head, Melbourne Medical School and ACADI Deputy Director)

Established by MTPConnect’s Targeted Transition Research Accelerator (TTRA) Initiative, the ACADI Research Centre has been awarded $10 million over four years from the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

Led by Associate Professor Elif Ekinci and based at the University of Melbourne, ACADI is a strong collaboration of clinicians, researchers, industry and patient advocacy groups who will deliver new interventions for timely diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diabetes and its complications.

Associate Professor Ekinci said diabetic kidney disease, diabetic foot ulcers and amputations and the acute complications of diabetes of hypoglycaemia and hyperglycaemia are some of the most difficult complications of diabetes to treat.  

“These complications are also the major costs associated with treating diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of diabetic kidney disease leading to dialysis and need for transplantation,” she said.

“By working together with researchers, clinicians and industry partners, we can make a greater difference to finding better treatments for people living with diabetes and be a voice for delivering positive messages around prevention and surveillance. We are also committed to listening to those with lived experience, their carers and the advocacy groups that represent them.”  

Sue Alberti AC will lead the organisation as the inaugural chair of the council.

Sue has made major contributions to life in Australia as a pioneer of the AWFL and as a philanthropist to name a few.  

“But perhaps her greatest role is yet to come as inaugural chair of ACADI to our programs of work. Her knowledge of this disease and its implications are profound. Susan lost her only child Danielle to complications of diabetic kidney disease when Danielle was only a young woman,” said Associate Professor Ekini.

Sue has committed to providing leadership to the national centre.

“I am totally committed to providing leadership and support of the centre by making certain our voices are heard and our discoveries are shared. I want to ensure other people don’t go on to develop the complications my daughter Danielle did. I do not want other families to lose a child to complications of diabetes at the prime of their lives,” Sue said.

Around 1.8 million Australians have diabetes according to Diabetes Australia, with one person contracting the disease every five minutes. Globally, 500 million people are estimated to have the illness.

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