Sean Parker Gives $10 Million to Diabetes Research

A new research laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco will be used to target cures for type 1 diabetes.

The lab is funded by a $10 million gift from Sean Parker, Silicon Valley tech philanthropist and co-founder of Napster.
Parker's interest in the project comes from his own battle with autoimmune disorders and life-threatening allergies.

The $10 million will go toward research on cell therapy - a type of treatment that enables the immune system to recognize destructive cells and eliminate them.

“What’s so interesting about this moment in time is that just 10 years ago this all seemed maybe theoretically possible, but it seemed like science fiction, and now it’s happening in the clinic regularly,” Parker said. “We’re at the cusp of a revolution in many different fields.”

Reeducating the immune system

The hope, Parker said, is that researchers can create drugs to reeducate the immune response so the body is not dependent on the drugs themselves.

The new lab will be housed in UCSF's Diabetes Center and led by prominent immunologist Dr. Jeffrey Bluestone.

“This is literally a life or death situation with a diabetes 1 patient, and in that sense there’s a real need to get down to the mechanistic level and understand how to repair the immune system," Parker said.

Source: Tech Crunch

By Andrew Mager from San Francisco, CA, USA (Sean Parker) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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