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Type 1 diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease where the body attacks the cells that make insulin. Insulin is the hormone that manages blood glucose, which is a major fuel source for our bodies.

What is type 1 diabetes?

Insulin is produced by pancreatic beta cells, also known as islet cells. Once these cells are gone, the body can’t produce any more insulin. And without it, blood sugar levels rise to dangerously high levels — which can cause organ damage. Diabetics have to monitor their sugar levels with a blood test, and take insulin injections several times a day.

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Key Statistics

120,000

120,000

Around 120,000 Australians live with type 1 diabetes.

1/700

1/700

One in every 700 Australian children are affected.

New cases

New cases

Incidence is rising with 1,825 new cases per year.

Type 1 diabetes research at Garvan

We’re investigating how and why the immune system attacks itself. This includes studying the factors that ‘switch on’ of an immune attack on beta cells. We’re also looking at genomic data, the role of T cells in the immune response, and the effective transplantation of pancreatic tissue.

Our diabetes research    More