About FDR

The Foundation for Diabetes Research (FDR) was founded in July 1999 by families in Morris, Sussex, Essex, and Union counties. The mission of the organization is to support research aimed at a cure for Type I diabetes and prevention of its severe complications. A committee comprised of members of our medical and scientific community and lay members review grants and give their opinions to fund certain grants to the Board of Directors.

Our goal is to be “Angel Funders” that have the ability to fund smaller projects with merit so that these grants may have a chance of attracting recognition from organizations such as the National Institute of Health (NIH).

With the help of the extraordinary people who raise funds on our behalf, we have been able to raise enough donations to provide over $4 million in grants for diabetes research.

Please visit the following to learn more:
Governing Bodies

 Foundation for Diabetes Research Governing Bodies

Executive Board

  • Co-Presidents: Regina Hanna and Lenny Gerstle
  • VP Corporate Outreach: Brian Hendry
  • VP Membership & Outreach: Susan Baron
  • VP Membership & Outreach: Regina Hanna
  • VP Business Operations: Nurit Gans*
  • Treasurer: Darryl Novak
  • Grant Committee Co-Chair: Michael Wallock*
  • Grant Committee Co-Chair: Audrey Wallock

Board of Trustees

  • Sheila Appe
  • Nancy Rosenfield
  • David Bleich, MD
  • Maria Breslin
  • Michael Davis
  • Sydney Davis
  • Jeffrey Dollinger
  • Fern Gartenhaus
  • Leonard Gerstle
  • Reesa Greenwald*
  • Jeri Karpen
  • David Kay*
  • Felicia Levy
  • Shelly Meister
  • Julie-Ann Miller
  • Susan Nicoll
  • Nicole Pilek
  • Ofer Steinberg
  • Marj Steinfeld
  • Margaret Szura
  • Lori Taylor
  • Kyle Weisholtz
  • Roseann Wexler

Grant Review Committee

  • Dr. David Bleich
  • Dr. Nambi Sridhar
  • Regina Hanna
  • Shelly Meister
  • Susan Baron
  • Audrey and Michael Wallock

*Past President

Current Grants

Since our inception in 1999, the Foundation for Diabetes Research (FDR) has raised over $7 million to support cutting-edge diabetes research. FDR is currently funding 2 large, multi-year grants from top diabetes researchers whose work may lead to future advances and therapies for type 1 diabetes. These grants include funding (1) an insulinoma biorepository, which is a frozen tissue bank of rare, often benign tumors of pancreatic beta cells which overproduce insulin (Dr Andy Stewart, Mt Sinai Hospital, NYC), and (2) the study of how to protect and improve the survival of transplanted beta cells (Dr Qizhi Tang, University of California at San Francisco; funding in partnership with the American Diabetes Association).


  1. Dr. Howard Davidson of the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes has received an FDR grant to fund research of immune changes in the honeymoon period at the single cell level. Such tumors may provide insights into how beta cells replicate and may, among other potential possibilities, provide drug targets for future therapies aimed at increasing beta cell numbers. The current paucity of validated mechanistic biomarkers is a major impediment to satisfying this critical need. Robust markers that can be used clinically to optimize patient selection, and to provide real time measures of efficacy, or predict outcomes, would likely increase the success rate of future clinical trials. This is particularly important given the growing appreciation that T1D is much more heterogenous than was previously realized, and consequent appreciation that once disease is established a “one size fits all” strategy may not work.This research is aligned with FDR’s mission to fund research aimed towards eventually finding a cure for Type 1 Diabetes. Click here to read Dr. Davidson’s research update!

Past Grants

A selection of our past grants:

  • 2004, Juan Dominguez-Bendala Ph.D., Luca Inveradi M.D., Ricardo Pastori Ph.D., Diabetes Research Institute- Achieveing donor speciic tolerance, establishing stable characteristics with safe, pre-conditioning regiments


  • 2004, Ricardo Pastori Ph.D., Mt.Cedars Sinai- GLP-1 gassed gene therapy for islets transplantation


  • 2007, Camillo Ricordi M.D., Diabetes Research Institute- Critical role oxygen plays in the pancreatic stem cell development, “oxygen sandwich”


  • 2008, Lori Sussel Ph.D., Columbia University- Islet progenitor gene, characterizing the DNA architecture that promotes B cell formation


  • 2009, Rene Santmari M.D. Ph.D., Calgary University- Synthesis and immunological properties- MHC class ii, gassed nano vaccines for T1D


  • 2010, Cherie Stabler Ph.D., Diabetes Research Institute- Mimicking the native pancreas, using giomaterials & oxygen promoters to enhance the survival o insulin-producing cells at alternative transplantation sites


  • 2011, Lori Sussel Ph.D., Columbia University- Ability to generate functional beta cells to translate to cell replacement therapy


  • 2013, David Bleich D.M.D., The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey/Rutgers- Reverse engineering T1D


  • 2014, Andrew Stewart M.D. Native Communications, Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai- Insights into Beta Cell Regeneration for Diabetes via integration of molecular landscapes in human insulinomas


  • 2015, Juan Dominguez-Bendala Ph.D. & Luca Inveradi M.D., Diabetes Research Institute- MDSC for tolerance (mimicking the native pancreas)


  • 2017, William C. Gause Ph.D., UC San Francisco & American Diabetes Association- Curing antibodies (T1D) with worms, how does infection parent T1D


  • 2018, Juan Dominguez-Bendala Ph.D., Diabetes Research Institute- Conversion of human pancreatic endocrine tissue into insulin-producing beta cells

How can I volunteer and help FDR fund research to find a cure for diabetes?

  • Join our Spring Walk committee
  • Join our Harvest for Hope Fall Fashion Show committee
  • Join one of our future event committees
  • Help at the FDR Office in Livingston


If there are any teens with diabetes who would like to baby-sit for families with young kids with diabetes, please let us know by sending an E-mail to [email protected] or by calling (973) 994-1972.

Contact us and we will be glad to let you know how you can make a difference.

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