13 November

Hubrecht Institute names a lab after Foundation DON founder Maarten de Gruyter

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On November 12th, the Hubrecht Institute named the laboratory in which research is being done to understand Type 1 Diabetes, after Maarten de Gruyter. De Gruyter is founder of stichting DON (Foundation Diabetes Research the Netherlands) and has just stepped down as chairman. The Hubrecht Institute recognizes Maarten de Gruyter for his initiative to direct diabetes research to stem cells. With funds from stichting DON and particularly because of the perseverance of de Gruyter himself, groundbreaking research is now done to understand and resolve Type 1 Diabetes.

Maarten de Gruyter, a type 1 diabetes patient himself, is involved in finding a cure since the foundation of stichting DON in 2006. De Gruyter knew of the cancer research being done at the Hubrecht Institute, which focused on stem cells. This sparked his idea to focus diabetes research on stem cells as well. Jeroen den Hertog, deputy director of the Hubrecht Institute: “We think that renaming this laboratory is a great idea, because Maarten has been raising funds for basic Type 1 Diabetes research for more than 10 years.”

Floor Dijkgraaf, director stichting DON: “We are proud of this wonderful recognition for all the work Maarten de Gruyter has done as chairman of stichting DON. It would be fantastic if the solution to Type 1 Diabetes would be found in this laboratory.”

Developments in research
The Hubrecht Institute comprises 23 research groups who perform basic, multidisciplinary research on healthy and diseased cells, tissues and organisms. The research focuses on developmental and stem cell biology. The lab of Prof. de Koning at the Hubrecht Institute, is already studying Type 1 Diabetes for ten years to better understand this disease. Due to the motivation and personal drive of de Gruyter and funding that the Hubrecht Institute receives from stichting DON, research progressed to a stage where cells can be differentiated in the lab to produce insulin.

Maarten de Gruyter Laboratory
From now on, the laboratory at the second floor of the Hubrecht Institute, where the research group of de Koning is located, is called ‘Maarten de Gruyter Laboratorium’.