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Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation UK (JDRF) has appointed Karen Addington as its new Chief Executive. Addington replaces Annwen Jones, who left the charity in August 2005 after 13 years service.

JDRF exists to fund research into a cure for type 1 diabetes and is affiliated to JDRF International – the world’s leading funder and advocate of diabetes research. JDRF has funded, at least in part, every major breakthrough in diabetes research in the past thirty years. Type 1 diabetes is a serious and life threatening condition that strikes suddenly and usually in childhood. People with type 1 diabetes face a lifetime of multiple daily insulin injections and blood tests simply to stay alive, however these do not prevent the long term complications of diabetes, including strokes, limb amputations, blindness and heart and kidney disease.

Karen Addington, who was formally Head of Corporate and Community Fundraising at Diabetes UK, has 15 years of experience in both the voluntary and commercial sectors and a proven track record in business development. Before joining Diabetes UK she held roles at Dresdner Kleinwort Benson and NCH.

Karen Addington commented: “I am delighted to be joining JDRF at this exciting time. New developments in research such as islet transplantation and stem cells mean that we are closer than ever to finding a cure for this debilitating condition that affects about 350,000 people in the UK and millions worldwide. I believe that JDRF has a unique position in the voluntary sector in being focused entirely on curing this chronic and debilitating condition.

“I am committed to JDRF’s goal of finding a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications and look forward to using my experience of working in the field of diabetes and my background in fundraising to significantly increase funding for the vital research that is needed to achieve a cure. I would like to thank and honour my predecessor Annwen Jones for having led and developed JDRF into such a successful organisation now poised to achieve so much for people with type 1 diabetes.”

Ian Edwards, Chairman of JDRF said: “We are extremely pleased that Karen has chosen to join JDRF and lead the charity forward at this crucial time. Her knowledge of, and dedication to supporting, the field of diabetes research will be essential in the coming years and we look forward to working with her in the search for a cure.”


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About Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (registered charity no 295716) was founded in 1986 and is affiliated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, the leading charitable funder and advocate of type 1 diabetes research worldwide.

Since inception JDRF has been responsible for more than £500 million direct funding of the most promising and groundbreaking research around the world, including £65 million for 500 grants, centres and fellowships in 19 countries in 2002 alone. The charity has funded, at least in part, every major research breakthrough in the last thirty years, and focuses on research with the greatest impact, leading to a cure as soon as possible. JDRF is not restricted by geography or conventions.

JDRF actively supports new research angles such as stem cells and therapeutic islet transplantation and has successfully advocated for a combined £535 million in government funding for type 1 diabetes research through to 2008 around the world. JDRF seeks to bring together top scientists and has unique partnerships with public and private entities, such as the MRC and the Wellcome Trust, in some of the UK’s most groundbreaking diabetes related research.

The charity’s focus on mission-driven science clearly sets it apart from other charitable organisations, while its business world model demands strategic planning, rigorous external evaluation and ‘bottom-line’ accountability based on the success of research funding.

JDRF is unique in its approach (volunteer-driven), its scope (a private/public collaborative effort that funds more than £165 million in type 1 diabetes research annually) and its success (more than 30 years of driving scientific breakthroughs).

About diabetes
Diabetes is a chronic condition that impairs the body’s ability to use food properly. The hormone insulin metabolises glucose to provide energy, it is vital for life.

In type 1 diabetes the body produces no insulin, its causes are not entirely known but scientists believe the body’s own immune system destroys the insulin producing cells; and it cannot be prevented. It usually develops in childhood and insulin injections and multiple daily blood tests are essential to stay alive. However these do not cure diabetes or prevent the long term, potentially devastating complications including blindness, amputations, kidney failure, heart disease and strokes.

In type 2 diabetes the body is unable to produce enough insulin or to use it effectively. Usually type 2 diabetes can be managed with diet, exercise and oral medication, although some are treated with insulin.

It is estimated that 4.9 million people globally have type 1 diabetes. It represents the most severe form of a condition that annually accounts for almost £2.5 billion in healthcare costs in the U.K. alone and represents 4.3% of the total NHS budget. Diabetes and its complications cost £5.2 billion each year, 9% of the NHS budget – 4.3% is spend on type 1 diabetes alone.