About

The Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) program is dedicated to helping the global T1D community live safer, better, and more fulfilling lives today while funding advancements in research and technology for a better tomorrow.

T1D is an autoimmune disease, and the only one requiring day-to-day management that includes regular dosing decisions with a drug (insulin) that can cause death. It’s a lifelong condition that poses significant burdens on individuals, their loved ones, and on health systems in the United States and around the world.

Current access to care and existing therapies fall short of easing these burdens, and incrementalism is not an option. Helmsley invests in ideas that have the potential for significant impact. We embrace high-risk efforts, led by dedicated leaders who will be partners and share our vision.

Living with T1D in the United States

Recent improvements in therapies have yet to translate to better outcomes for many people living with T1D.  To change this, we need a reboot in how people connect with their providers and manage their condition – regardless of geography. Helmsley invests in new approaches to care focused both on meeting people where they are, and on treating individuals and their unique needs – not just their symptoms. Telemedicine has an important role to play. So, too, does expanding the base of experts available to the T1D community, especially in places without easy access to specialty care.

Glucose control is front-and-center in the lives of people with T1D, and yet we still lack a complete understanding of the myriad factors that cause glucose levels to rise and fall throughout the day. In addition to funding research to enhance our knowledge, we invest in technologies that hold tremendous promise for improving glucose management and health outcomes for the T1D community. We are committed to empowering individuals with information and better tools to successfully manage the condition. This includes advances in preventing hypoglycemia, and improving automated insulin delivery systems as well as access to continuous glucose monitors (CGM), which have revolutionized T1D care. Our vision is to ease the burden of managing T1D and instead focus on living and thriving.

Transforming the Trajectory of T1D

Knowing if an individual is pre-disposed is essential for monitoring and intervening early to mitigate complications at diagnosis. We support expansion of screening programs to identify those at risk, who may also benefit from early-stage efforts to prevent or delay onset.

Understanding how to prevent the autoimmune attack on the body that stops insulin-producing beta cells from functioning – and thus preventing T1D – is a priority area for investment. So, too, is research on how to delay the progression of T1D once the immune attack has occurred.

Our investments in innovative drugs include targeted immunotherapies designed to protect insulin-producing beta cells, as well as in therapies that support alpha cell preservation and that could minimize hypoglycemia.

Expanding Global Access

T1D can be a death sentence when insulin supply chains are fractured, or high costs make insulin and other essential T1D-mangement tools unaffordable. Helmsley supports efforts to ensure that everyone who needs insulin and other supplies can get them at low or no cost. We are addressing immediate needs that help people survive today while tackling longer-term challenges that will lead to systems-level improvements in the future.

T1D is one of many chronic conditions and non-communicable diseases endured by countless individuals across low-and middle-income countries, where health systems are not yet equipped to provide the necessary care for people to thrive. Helmsley is committed to global partnerships to advance quality care across geographies – knowing that stronger systems for all will benefit those with T1D along with hundreds of millions of others and their families, communities, and nations.

News & Insights

Leveraging Predictive Analytics for T1D Care

Helmsley is funding the creation of a Rapid Learning Lab to use predictive analytics to swiftly and cost-efficiently connect people with T1D with the...
Leveraging Predictive Analytics for T1D Care

T1D Program Director Gina Agiostratidou, PhD Joins “Progress, Potential, and Possibilities” Podcast

Gina recently met with Ira Pastor, host of the “Progress, Potential, and Possibilities” podcast. The two discuss Gina’s professional background...
T1D Program Director Gina Agiostratidou, PhD Joins “Progress, Potential, and Possibilities” Podcast

T1D Program Director Gina Agiostratidou Discusses NCD Care in Health Policy Watch

“Diverse stakeholders can come together to make change happen.” In a piece for Health Policy Watch, Type 1 Diabetes Program Director Gina...
T1D Program Director Gina Agiostratidou Discusses NCD Care in Health Policy Watch

Helmsley Awards $5 Million to Evaluate Virtual Diabetes Specialty Clinic Model

New York, NY—The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust today announced a new $5,025,099 grant to the Jaeb Center for Health Research Foundation to evaluate...

Helmsley Awards $5 Million to Evaluate Virtual Diabetes Specialty Clinic Model

David Panzirer Joins Mike Milken’s Podcast

Trustee David Panzirer joined the latest “Conversations with Mike Milken” podcast from the Milken Institute. The podcast focuses on how leaders are responding to the current...

David Panzirer Joins Mike Milken’s Podcast
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Published Fri Feb 5, 2021

David Panzirer Pens Op-Ed Focused on Accessibility of Virtual Care

As more patients and doctors embrace telemedicine, it’s time for insurers to do the ...

Op-Ed: Lessons from Diabetes Can Strengthen Global Care for People with NCDs

Gina Agiostratidou, PhD, Director of the Type 1 Diabetes Program, published an op-ed in Devex on three lessons from diabetes for expanding global...
Op-Ed: Lessons from Diabetes Can Strengthen Global Care for People with NCDs

Research Shows T1D Can Be Present Before 6 Months of Age

Helmsley-supported research in the journal Diabetologia has found that type 1 diabetes can be present before a baby reaches six months of age, and possibly even in the womb.

Research Shows T1D Can Be Present Before 6 Months of Age

Inside Philanthropy Highlights Virtual Specialty Clinic

A Helmsley-funded virtual specialty clinic model that reaps the benefits of the latest technology could be a game-changer by expanding access to quality care for all people with type 1...

Inside Philanthropy Highlights Virtual Specialty Clinic

Behind the Documentary: A Q&A with Program Officer Estefania Palomino


Helmsley's Type 1 Diabetes Program Officer, Estefania Palomino, offers a behind-the-scenes look at what it was ...

A New Way to Access Complex Diabetes Care


Endo ECHO’s telehealth model has changed one woman’s life. Twenty-year-old Kaycee May of ...

Gina Agiostratidou, PhD Quoted in Coverage of the Lancet NCDI Poverty Commission

Gina Agiostratidou, PhD, Type 1 Diabetes Program Director, was quoted in coverage of the Helmsley-supported Lancet Non-Communicable Diseases...
Gina Agiostratidou, PhD Quoted in Coverage of the Lancet NCDI Poverty Commission

T1D Program Defines Clinically Meaningful Outcomes

In partnership with other members of the T1D Outcomes Program Steering Committee, Helmsley has jointly come to a consensus in defining and standardizing meaningful type 1 diabetes (T1D) outcomes other than hemoglobin HbA1c (A1c), which is an average of blood glucose levels over a three-month period. Although A1c remains an important measure, its limitation as an average means it does not capture the entire picture of glycemic...

T1D Program Defines Clinically Meaningful Outcomes

Genetic Engineering of Immune Cells to Advance Cell Therapies for T1D

Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered in mouse models that genetically engineering an immune cell can support islet transplantation, a therapy for type 1 diabetes (T1D). Helmsley is supporting efforts to translate this work into human cells. Funding of this research aims to advance the use of immune cells as targeted therapeutic agents to combat T1D. Such research may eventually allow individuals to forgo...

Genetic Engineering of Immune Cells to Advance Cell Therapies for T1D
T1D by the Numbers

$775+

million

committed

680+

grants

awarded

50+

countries

reached
Recent Grants

The Milken Institute

Amount: $150,000
Term of Grant: 6 Months
Date of Award: 06.22.2021

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Canada/Fondation De La Recherche Sur Le Diabete Juvenile Canada

Amount: $109,000
Term of Grant: 36 Months
Date of Award: 06.03.2021

JDRF International

Amount: $199,398
Term of Grant: 24 Months
Date of Award: 06.03.2021

Type 1 Diabetes / ASK the Experts

The Regents of the University of Colorado, Denver

Amount: $1,626,575
Term of Grant: 36 Months
Date of Award: 06.03.2021

The Aspen Institute Inc.

Amount: $2,990,320
Term of Grant: 36 Months
Date of Award: 05.19.2021

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Our Team

Dr. Gina Agiostratidou is the Program Director for the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program, which aims to advance research, treatments, technologies, and services that imp...
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Gina Agiostratidou

Program Director

Deniz Dalton is a Program Officer for the Helmsley Charitable Trust's Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program. In this role, Deniz works predominantly in identifying new T1D technology and device initiatives, p...
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Deniz Dalton

Program Officer

Laurel Koester is a Program Officer for the Helmsley Charitable Trust's Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program. She helps to oversee a healthcare models portfolio in which she manages existing grants and iden...
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Laurel Koester

Program Officer

Dr. Anne Koralova is a Program Officer for the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program. She helps to oversee the current research grants portfolio and identify and validate new ...
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Anne Koralova

Program Officer

Estefania Palomino is a Program Officer for the Helmsley Charitable Trust's Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program. In this role, she manages the design and implementation of the global strategy to improve ...
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Estefania Palomino

Program Officer

Dr. Sean Sullivan is a Program Officer for the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program. In this role, he oversees the glucose control grants portfolio, identifying and evalu...
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Sean Sullivan

Program Officer

Dr. Ben Williams is a Program Officer for the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Type 1 Diabetes Program (T1D). He helps to oversee a biomedical research grant portfolio that identifies and invests in prom...
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Ben Williams

Program Officer

Tiara Ahmad
Tiara Ahmad is an Associate Program Officer at Helmsley Charitable Trust, working with the Type 1 Diabetes Program to manage grants in the Glucose Control and Knowledge & Resources portfolios.
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Tiara Ahmad

Associate Program Officer

Maryaline Coffre is an Associate Program Officer for the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program. She helps to oversee a biomedical research grant portfolio that identifies and inv...
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Maryaline Coffre

Associate Program Officer

Alex Pasek is an Associate Program Officer for the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program. He helps to oversee the glucose control grants portfolio which identifies and invests in...
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Alex Pasek

Associate Program Officer

James Reid
James Reid is an Associate Program Officer for the Helmsley Charitable Trust's Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program. In this role, he supports the design and implementation of the global strategy to improve ...
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James Reid

Associate Program Officer

Jeff Spencer
Jeff Spencer is an Associate Program Officer for the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program. He helps to oversee the grant portfolio that focuses on supporting preventative interv...
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Jeff Spencer

Associate Program Officer

Ben Stang is an Associate Program Officer for the Helmsley Charitable Trust’s Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program. In this role, he focuses on the healthcare models portfolio of grants, which seeks to ...
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Ben Stang

Associate Program Officer

Victoria Tralongo joined the Helmsley Charitable Trust in April 2014 and is the Executive Assistant for the Helmsley Charitable Trust's Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program. In this role, Victoria works ...
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Victoria Tralongo

Executive Assistant

Bezaida De La Cruz

Bezaida De La Cruz is the Administrative Assistant for the Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program. Bezaida supports the T1D Program's efforts to improve lives for people with T1D and prevent and delay the d...
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Bezaida De La Cruz

Administrative Assistant

Ashley Eliza is the Administrative Assistant for the Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Program. As Administrative Assistant, she supports the T1D Program's efforts to improve lives for people with T1D and prev...
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Ashley Eliza

Administrative Assistant