Brehm Coalition - Type 1 Diabetes Research

Investigator: Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD
Sponsor: University of Michigan

Location(s): United States


The Brehm Coalition, established in February, 2007, is a unique, self-organizing scientific collaboration involving nine leading research leaders representing the fields of immunology and beta-cell biology, the two key disciplines related to the cause and probable cure for Type 1 diabetes.

Most funding for basic research typically comes from government and foundation grants. While the grant evaluation processes of those institutions is governed by the best of intentions to keep risk to a minimum, it usually involves time-consuming procedures and administrative constraints. As a result it is highly risk averse by nature. The Brehm Coalition concept accelerates this process with minimal paperwork through private funding that is intended to be catalytic to research activity and augmented by public funding. Specifically, this innovative approach does not limit the scientists from seeking federal or foundation support for their joint efforts under conventional procedures. Yet it gives these outstanding Coalition scientists complete freedom to develop their own research plans and procedures, as they themselves measure the risk and potential benefits. They thus have great flexibility to change course quickly, to expand their work to colleagues, and to sponsor side studies of promising ideas that develop spontaneously at the bench.