Toronto (Aug. 15, 2007) - An innovative new partnership between the University Health Network and the University of Toronto's Banting & Best Diabetes Centre will enhance diabetes education, research and patient care and expand the search for a cure. University of Toronto logo

The collaboration between UHN and BBDC will allow both organizations to bring together experts with diverse backgrounds and expertise from across the University of Toronto, and the U of T Faculty of Medicine's 10 fully affiliated hospitals and 11 community sites to collaborate on innovative prevention and treatment strategies.

"The commitment and resources deployed under this new partnership will significantly enhance our ability to achieve a global impact in research, education and clinical care of diabetes," said Dr. Daniel Drucker, Director of the BBDC. "The Centre will be a magnet for top researchers and innovators from around the world."

The UHN-BBDC partnership, which will be housed at UHN's Toronto General Hospital site, continues a tradition in diabetes research and care that dates back to the 1921 discovery of insulin by the Nobel-winning team of Drs. Frederick Banting and Charles Best, who conducted their research at the University of Toronto and treated patients at Toronto General Hospital. A major focus of the new BBDC-UHN collaboration will be the search for a cure through the promise of innovative islet cell biology and stem cell research.

"The Toronto General Hospital was instrumental in Banting and Best's discovery," said Dr. Robert Bell, President and CEO of University Health Network. "We are very pleased to be able to support the work of the BBDC and provide a place where diabetes research will be the focus of improving lives and ultimately curing this disease."

One in 20 Canadians – at least 1.3 million Canadians aged 12 and over – have diabetes and three-quarters of those Canadians with diabetes suffer other chronic health conditions. If trends continue with an estimated 60,000 new cases diagnosed each year, the number of Canadians with diabetes is expected to almost double to 2.4 million by 2016.

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