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An Interdisciplinary Approach to Conquer Diabetes

Oskar Annermarken
The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center has existed since 2009, but only found a home earlier this fall.

Diabetes was first named in ancient Greek civilization, but there's still much we don't know about the condition.

Dr. Dale Abel is trying to change that. He's the director of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center. Established five years ago, it finally found a physical home this fall. 

"If you walk through the facility it's a big open space. We have very few walls and the idea behind that is we have all of our researchers in the same space, doing their research, literally bouncing into each other multiple times throughout the course of a day," he says. 

The center hosts 100 scientists from a variety of scientific disciplines at the University of Iowa, working on everything from treating the epidermal wounds that are a symptom of diabetes to creating Beta cells that may act as a transplant for those with Type I.

"One of the things we're realizing more as knowledge has improved and as science has gotten more complex is that no one person will ever figure this thing out completely."

In this episode of River to River, host Ben Kieffer discusses the developments of the center with Dr. Abel and two of the center's scientists, James Ankrum and Charles Brenner. Julie Knight, who has had diabetes for more than thirty years, also joins the program to share her experience with medical developments and the condition.

Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River