The Larry L. Hillblom Islet Research Center at UCLA was opened in November 2004. This is the first purpose built Islet Research Center and was made possible by a grant from the Larry Hillblom Foundation and a substantial investment in six new faculty by UCLA. Faculty have been recruited to bring together complimentary expertise encompassing basic science and translational research, efforts to foster new islet formation and protect existing islet cells from destruction.
Thanks to the founding grant these investigators have the opportunity to carry out their studies with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. As none of the equipment or facilities were funded by the NIH, we are able to carry out stem cell research in the center. Our stated mission is to provide excellent training for young scientists from around the world, and in so doing, to understand the causes of islet cell destruction leading to diabetes and to understand how islet cells can be replaced. The overriding aim of the Larry L. Hillblom Islet Research Center (LHIRC) at UCLA is to contribute towards — while providing leadership in — the worldwide efforts that eventually will lead to the prevention and cure of diabetes.