A leading contributor of science and knowledge through discoveries.


DREAM-Diabetes Research Envisioned and Accomplished in Manitoba

Type 2 diabetes is the fastest growing chronic illness in Canada. In 2010 the estimated cost of diabetes to the health care system and Canadian economy was $12 billion. We thought that Type 2 diabetes was a disease that only occurred in adults (in fact we called it adult-onset diabetes).

 However in 1985, a girl from northern Manitoba came to our hospital in Winnipeg with diabetes that was very different from the typical type of diabetes seen in children (formerly called juvenile diabetes). This may have been the first case of Type 2 diabetes in a child in Canada.

Over the past two decades, one of our leading diabetes doctors, Dr. Heather Dean, reported on this case and many others making Manitoba one of the world’s top research centres for Type 2 diabetes in Canada. Manitoba currently has one of the highest rates of Type 2 diabetes in children in the world and the number of children in Manitoba with Type 2 diabetes, is 12 times higher than any other province in Canada.

This is concerning to us as a diagnosis of Type 2 diabetes prior to age 20 dramatically increases the risk for debilitating complications including kidney disease, blindness and amputations. Therefore the Children’s Hospital Foundation and CHRIM have decided to dedicate funding specifically to address this very local problem. We plan to make important discoveries that will lead to better prevention and treatment approaches for Type 2 diabetes in children.

Our mission is to create an environment and provide the infrastructure to support state-of-the-art epidemiological and basic science research in the area of obesity and T2D complications in youth.

We have been awarded grants from national agencies to perform a series of studies in children with and at risk for diabetes. These clinical studies will help us understand why diabetes and it s complications develop.

We hope that discoveries we make in our clinical studies of children can be used to discover new mechanisms that lead to disease. The group of scientists that we have assembled will work closely on all aspects of research to make sure that our discoveries are meaningful to parents and children affected by diabetes. By working closely as a team, we are better able to make our discoveries meaningful and advance our knowledge faster than anything we could do on our own.