June 4, 2024

The leading global type 1 diabetes organization assumes new name and brand strategy to better engage the entire type 1 diabetes community. 

NEW YORK & WASHINGTON—Today, JDRF, the leading global type 1 diabetes (T1D) research and advocacy organization, announced that it is now Breakthrough T1D. The new name was unveiled in a worldwide simulcast during the organization’s annual Government Day conference in Washington, D.C.

Breakthrough T1D was selected following a rigorous, data-informed process because it more accurately conveys the non-profit’s ability to connect with and work on behalf of the entire type 1 diabetes community. T1D, an autoimmune disease that causes the pancreas to make very little insulin or none at all, was once viewed as a condition that could only be diagnosed in childhood. However, it is now known that T1D can develop at any age, regardless of family history.  

“For more than half a century, our organization has been at the forefront of type 1 diabetes research and advocacy. It is an honor to be CEO at this breakthrough moment as the organization takes a name that more accurately reflects our community and priorities,” said Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D., CEO of Breakthrough T1D. “As an adult and scientist living with type 1 diabetes, I believe our new name, Breakthrough T1D, will help to deepen engagement and support across the entire community as we drive toward curing type 1 diabetes.” 

The name Breakthrough T1D demonstrates the organization’s leadership in accelerating scientific discovery, therapeutic development, and access to treatments and therapies for the T1D community.  

“Our new name, Breakthrough T1D, puts our mission front and center. To accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent, and treat type 1 diabetes and its complications,” said Pam Morrisroe, chief marketing officer of Breakthrough T1D. “We developed this evolved brand in partnership with global experience firm Siegel+Gale through a nearly two-year data-driven process. Together, we have developed a visionary, powerful brand that more accurately reflects who we are: the world leader in type 1 diabetes research, advocacy, and community support.”  

Breakthrough T1D has led the search for cures for T1D since the organization got its start more than 50 years ago. The non-profit was founded in 1970 by families of children living with T1D when the disease was known as “juvenile diabetes” because it was frequently diagnosed in, and strongly associated with, young children. Thanks to better therapies, which Breakthrough T1D helped accelerate and make available, people with T1D are living longer and staying healthier while we drive toward cures.  

“For more than 50 years, Breakthrough T1D has invested in research to improve the lives of people living with type 1 diabetes and has moved the needle forward on finding cures,” said Sanjoy Dutta, Ph.D., Breakthrough T1D chief scientific officer. “The field has experienced many breakthroughs thanks in large part to the leadership and support from our organization, including Tzield, the first FDA-approved disease-modifying therapy for type 1 diabetes which delays the onset of clinical T1D for two years or more.” 

Breakthrough T1D rolled out its new name and brand strategy at the organization’s Government Day conference in Washington D.C. The four-day conference brings together volunteer T1D advocates from across the United States and is the country’s largest type 1 diabetes advocacy event.  

“Government Day has always been an exciting time for type 1 diabetes advocates. Now, as Breakthrough T1D, our volunteers have a stronger, more inclusive message to share with elected officials on Capitol Hill,” said Lynn Starr, Breakthrough T1D chief global advocacy officer. “We celebrate accomplishments like the renewal of and funding increase for the Special Diabetes Program and continue our work addressing the ongoing need for type 1 diabetes research, innovation, and policy improvements.” 

As the leading global T1D research and advocacy organization, Breakthrough T1D will continue to champion the needs of the world’s T1D community by funding hundreds of millions of dollars of research and through our international advocacy and access initiatives. Breakthrough T1D’s international affiliates, Australia, Canada, Israel, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, will gradually transition into the organization’s new name. Each affiliate will adapt an individual brand transition timeline that aligns with their country’s specific advocacy efforts and community events.

About Breakthrough T1D (formerly JDRF)

As the leading global type 1 diabetes research and advocacy organization, Breakthrough T1D helps make everyday life with type 1 diabetes better while driving toward cures. We do this by investing in the most promising research, advocating for progress by working with government to address issues that impact the T1D community, and helping educate and empower individuals facing this condition. 

About type 1 diabetes (T1D)

T1D is an autoimmune condition that causes the pancreas to make very little insulin or none at all. This leads to dependence on insulin therapy and the risk of short and long-term complications, which can include highs and lows in blood sugar; damage to the kidneys, eyes, nerves, and heart; and even death. Globally, it impacts nearly 9 million people. Many believe T1D is only diagnosed in childhood and adolescence, but diagnosis in adulthood is common and accounts for nearly 50% of all T1D diagnoses. The onset of T1D has nothing to do with diet or lifestyle. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. There is currently no cure for T1D.