Emory University celebrated a groundbreaking day with the launch of the Diabetes Translational Accelerator (DTA) and the unveiling of the Lakshmi and Subramonian Shankar Fellowships. Hosted by the Emory Global Diabetes Research Center, these initiatives aim to transform diabetes research into real-world solutions.

The DTA is set to revolutionize diabetes treatment by turning cutting-edge research into commercially viable products and startups. This program provides mentorship, coaching, and access to Emory’s rich interdisciplinary community, fostering an entrepreneurial spirit among students and faculty.

Central to this initiative is the Lakshmi and Subramonian Shankar Fellowship. This fellowship supports Emory PhD students by offering stipends and access to the Shankar Innovation Fund. This support helps students transition their research from theory to practice, aiming to produce affordable innovations that can benefit a global population, especially in low- and middle-income countries.

Dr. Ravi Thadani, Emory’s executive vice president for health affairs, highlighted the urgency of this initiative, noting, “Diabetes causes more deaths per year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Managing diabetes can significantly reduce the risk of severe complications.”

Dr. Jithin Sam Varghese, co-director of the DTA, emphasized the program’s unique approach, supporting PhD students from the early stages of their research to solve diabetes-related problems.

This initiative also includes a strategic partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras), fostering international collaboration. Emory’s Shankar Fellows will engage with IIT Madras, enhancing their learning and research through global perspectives.

Dr. K. M. Venkat Narayan, a leading voice in the program, explained, “Our ecosystem includes resources like Biolocity, The Hatchery, and the Goizueta Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, providing comprehensive support for our doctoral students.”

Subramonian Shankar, founder of Lakshan Foundation Inc., expressed his commitment to supporting research that benefits humanity, stating, “Our goal is to facilitate collaboration and drive innovations that address global health challenges.”

Emory’s DTA and the Shankar Fellowships mark a significant step towards combating diabetes worldwide, aiming to bring high-impact, affordable solutions to those who need them most.