The Canadian Diabetes Association administers the Charles H. Best Research Fund to support research that will enhance our understanding of diabetes and its prevention, treatment and management.

The CDA is proud to be a leading supporter of diabetes research in Canada. Since 1975 and the establishment of the Charles H. Best Research Fund – named for insulin co-discoverer and CDA co-founder Dr. Charles H. Best – the CDA has awarded more than $100 million in research grants to scientists who have dedicated themselves to the fight against diabetes.

Since Banting and Best’s discovery of insulin in 1921, the scope of diabetes research in Canada has been vast and the numerous studies both varied and unique. With topics ranging from insulin sensitivity of muscle tissue, to the role of cholesterol in the development of type 2 diabetes, to the effect of eating habits on the risk of gestational diabetes, to the role of ACE2 in diabetes-related kidney injury, there have been huge strides and key advances in mapping and understanding the physiology, biochemistry and genetics of diabetes.

The CDA understands that funding of diabetes research is a crucial step in providing these advances. This is why we choose, each year, to fund Canada’s most renowned scientists and clinicians in their quest for new and innovative developments in the prevention, treatment and management of diabetes. Although the research is diverse in its scope, covering a broad range of specialties, the objectives of every study and researcher remain the same – to improve the quality of life of people living with diabetes and to find a cure.

This year’s researchers continue the tradition of innovation and discovery with studies covering an array of topics, including: biology, problems with insulin, prevention and management, obesity, complications (both microvascular and macrovascular), special populations and new therapies.

Operating grants are held by independent researchers who can receive funding for up to three years per grant. Grant holders must have a doctoral degree (MD, PhD, DSc, DDS, PharmD, DVM or equivalent) and an independent faculty position with institutional support at a university or research institution in Canada.

Personnel awards fall into four categories: Clinician Scientist Awards, Scholar Awards, Post-Doctoral Fellowship Awards and Doctoral Student Research Awards. Personnel awards are intended to further the development and training of promising young researchers in the Canadian diabetes research community. Eligibility requirements vary based on the type of award. Awards must be held at Canadian institutions with the exception of Post-Doctoral Fellowships. If there is compelling scientific justification, Canadian citizens and permanent residents may apply for Post-Doctoral Fellowships to be held outside Canada. It is the intent that these promising young researchers will return to Canada to continue their careers.