A US research facility has set the goal of curing type 1 diabetes within the next six years.

City of Hope, a California-based research and treatment centre for diabetes, cancer and other life-threatening diseases, has recently received a $50 million grant that will go towards their Diabetes and Metabolism Research Institute.

Their researchers will be collaborating with the Wanek family – owners of Ashley Furniture Industries, the world’s largest home furniture manufacturer – who are helping to fund the six-year project.

There are three main areas of research that Dr Bart Roep, director of City of Hope’s research team, and colleagues will investigate: immunotherapy, beta cell transplantation and preventing diabetes complications.

Roep believes that the key to curing type 1 diabetes will be to understand what causes the autoimmune disease to develop. From there, research can begin on treatments, which could vary from person to person.

“[It’s] something we call personalised medicine or precision medicine, which is very much in vogue in cancer. That means we need to understand where patients differ and then tailor the immune therapies to their specific needs,” said Roep.

City of Hope was the first diabetes facility to engineer synthetic human insulin in 1978, and it is accomplishments such as this that makes Robert W. Stone, president and chief executive at City of Hope, confident that his team will relish this project.

“City of Hope is best positioned to take on this challenge. This is thanks to our 40-year institutional legacy of pioneering treatment and research advances in diabetes,” said Stone.

Todd Wanek, chief executive officer of Ashley Furniture, added: “City of Hope scientists’ research has revolutionized the understanding and treatment of diabetes,” said. “It continues today as physicians and scientists gain systemic understanding of diabetes as a complex, multifaceted disease.”