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U, Mayo partnership steps up efforts to conquer diabetes

The Decade of Discovery, a major initiative of the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics, has hired David Etzwiler as executive director and awarded three research grants totaling $1.86 million to bring the initiative closer to its goal: finding a cure for diabetes.

Etzwiler, former vice president of community affairs and executive director of the Medtronic Foundation, will lead the Decade of Discovery’s operations, including strategy development and execution. He also will engage stakeholders inside and outside the Decade’s partner institutions, Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota.

The state-funded grants, awarded by the Decade initiative under the auspices of the Minnesota Partnership, will support research led by University and Mayo Clinic coinvestigators to create an artificial pancreas, develop anti-obesity drugs aimed at preventing type 2 diabetes, and explore immunebased diabetes treatments.

“Using the resources from the Minnesota Partnership, we expect to see major advances in both diabetes treatment and prevention as a result of this work,” says University endocrinologist and Decade coleader Elizabeth Seaquist, M.D.

The Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics is a collaboration of the University, Mayo Clinic, and the state of Minnesota.

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