Professor Douglas A. Melton has made a groundbreaking contribution to the medical field with his research focused on curing Type 1 diabetes.
His innovative approach involves transplanting insulin-producing cells, particularly pancreatic beta cells. These cells are capable of measuring glucose levels and secreting the appropriate amount of insulin, which has led to a “functional cure” for Type 1 diabetes patients in clinical trials.
This significant scientific discovery holds not only medical but also profound social implications.
In recognition of his remarkable work, Professor Melton, who serves as the co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and holds positions at the Howard Hughes Institute of Medicine and Vertex Pharmaceuticals, was honored with the third edition of the ABARCA PRIZE.
This prestigious award, also known as the Doctor Juan Abarca International Award for Medical Science, was presented to him by His Majesty the King of Spain. The ceremony was attended by Dr. Juan Abarca and Dra. Elena Abarca, president and vice president of HM Hospitales, respectively, and Professor Alberto Muñoz, president of the Fundación de Investigación HM Hospitales (FiHM).
Expressing his gratitude for the ABARCA PRIZE, Professor Melton highlighted his personal connection to the cause, emphasizing his hope that his children would never need insulin injections. He remains committed to the idea that a child diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes today can look forward to a cure.
Melton’s current work involves collaborating with various pharmaceutical companies on clinical trials to develop cell therapy as a new treatment for Type 1 diabetes. He believes that the combination of gene modification and stem cell use will pave the way for new treatments for many diseases.
For more information and images related to this event, visit Abarca Prize Press Room.