Help cure diabetes

“The consequences of diabetes can be very dire. Diabetes is also linked to many diseases including liver cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and Alzheimer’s”

Professor Mark Febbraio, Division Head – Diabetes and Metabolism

There are more than 1.5 million people with diabetes in Australia, with an estimated half undiagnosed. In the past 20 years, the number of Australians diagnosed with diabetes has trebled and 275 people develop diabetes every day.

There are two main types of diabetes, type 1 and type 2, which have different causes but similar effects on the body. In both, the body can’t properly regulate a hormone called insulin, which converts glucose from food into energy. Without insulin, blood glucose levels rise to dangerously high levels that can cause organ damage. If left untreated, diabetes can cause serious long-term complications including kidney disease, retina damage, cardiovascular disease, and nerve damage, often resulting in amputation.

Garvan’s diabetes research
Garvan has one of the most sophisticated diabetes research programs globally. Our Diabetes and Metabolism Division comprises nearly 100 research scientists and clinicians working together to untangle the complexity of metabolic disease. Diabetes researchers at the Garvan Institute are finding ways to stop the type 2 diabetes epidemic, to understand the link to obesity and its prevalence throughout the globe, and to develop new and improved methods of detection and treatments.

We are also looking at ways to develop better treatments for type 1 diabetes that will improve quality of life and reduce dependence on insulin and to do this, we need philanthropic support from community, businesses and government to allow our researchers to make a difference to those affected by diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body’s immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Its cause is unknown and it cannot be prevented. Unable to produce insulin, people with type 1 diabetes must monitor their blood glucose levels and take insulin several times a day.

Type 1 diabetes affects over 140 000 children and adults in Australia and over 16 million people worldwide. This type of diabetes usually develops in people under 30 but can start at any age.

Type 2 diabetes is a progressive condition where the body gradually stops responding normally to insulin and can’t produce enough insulin to make up for this growing resistance. Though its cause is unknown, type 2 diabetes has strong genetic and lifestyle risk factors, such as insufficient activity, poor diet and obesity. As such, it has the potential to be prevented, even reversed.

Garvan’s research shows that fat directly around organs in the stomach, rather than fat under the skin, is a major risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.

Help us find the cure


Can help keep our laboratories stocked with essential equipment


Could pay for half a day of research to help us understand major diseases


Could bring us one step closer to the cures we seek

or enter your own amount