Clinical collaborations and translational research
The research at the Department of Medical Cell Biology is linked to several clinical problems, and one of the major aims of the Department is to perform innovative translational research leading to new advances within modern diagnostics and therapy. Several close collaborations and clinical trials are ongoing involving groups at the Department and affiliated hospitals and companies, and the Department has recently produced several spinoff companies. The Department has several researchers that are clinically active, and that help bridging basic experimental research and clinical research, to provide excellent conditions for successful translational research.
Forum for Diabetes Research
Ray A. and Robert L. Kroc Lecture
The annual Kroc lecture at the medical faculty, Uppsala University, was originally financed by a donation from The Kroc Foundation, Santa Barbara, California, USA. In 1954 Ray A. Kroc (1902-1984) started the well-known hamburger chain McDonald’s, which soon made him one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in USA. His desire to donate some of the profit to charity was realized in 1965 by the establishment of Ray A. Kroc Foundation in Chicago. The aim of the Foundation was to support research on chronic diseases including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. The following 20 years Ray’s brother Robert L. Kroc (born 1907; originally working with endocrine research within the drug industry) was chairman of the foundation. During this period about 370 million SEK were distributed to research groups within USA but also to some foreign groups, one of which were at the Department of Medical Cell Biology, Uppsala University. The latter support focused on research on treatment of diabetes by transplantation of insulin producing cells.
Ray A. (right) and Robert L. Kroc
After Ray A. Kroc’s demise the foundation was dissolved in April 1985. On this occasion several donations were awarded including 3 grants to Professorships (1 million USD each) and 84 grants to annual lectures (50 000 USD each) at different universities and research centres. Five of those were awarded to countries outside USA (Canada, England and Sweden). The donation to Sweden went to Uppsala University and the purpose was that the revenue should support an annual lecture about diabetes research. All lecturers have been internationally leading scientists in the diabetes field and the donation has played an important role to develop an international network for diabetes research in Uppsala.