NIDDK’s Diabetes Centers program supports extramural research institutions that have established an existing base of high-quality, diabetes-related research. A major activity of the Centers is to promote translational/clinical research—work that translates scientific findings into practice to improve the health of Americans with, or at risk for, diabetes (type 1 and type 2).
There are two types of Diabetes Centers in the program:
• Diabetes Research Centers (DRCs)
• Centers for Diabetes Translation Research (CDTRs)
The program supports and enhances interdisciplinary research in diabetes but does not directly fund major research projects; rather, it provides core resources to enhance the efficiency, productivity, and interdisciplinary cooperation of a group of established investigators conducting research in diabetes and related areas of endocrinology and metabolism. Diabetes Centers aim to integrate basic, behavioral, and translational research, and to promote research with clinical relevance with an emphasis on prevention and intervention—including prototype development and refinement of products, tools, measures, techniques, processes, methods, and practices.
The Centers have two primary structural components:
• Shared resources (cores)
• Pilot and feasibility studies
Shared resources are core facilities, or other cooperative arrangements, that enhance productivity or in other ways benefit research programs by investigators working to accomplish common goals. Pilot and feasibility studies can have a major impact on the visibility of a Center and should provide a means of developing new ideas and encouraging junior investigators or investigators new to the field.