Diabetes Research Takes on a Greater Urgency

By Giving List Staff   |   October 29, 2021

Sansum Diabetes Research Institute (SDRI) was established 77 years ago by Dr. William Sansum, the first U.S. physician to manufacture and administer life-saving insulin to people with type 1 diabetes. Until the discovery of insulin, a diagnosis of diabetes was a death sentence. 

Diabetes is a significant public health problem worldwide, and its increasing prevalence produces adverse effects on physical and emotional health and quality of life for individuals and their families. 

•34.2 million Americans have diabetes; that’s about 1 in every 10 people. 

•More than 88 million Americans have prediabetes.

•$327 billion is the annual cost of diagnosed diabetes in America.

“SDRI’s priority has not changed since our founding by Dr. Sansum; improving the lives of those living with diabetes remains at the forefront of our daily efforts,” says Ellen Goodstein, executive director of SDRI. 

Renowned SDRI physicians have carried on Dr. Sansum’s legacy with life-changing medical breakthroughs over the decades.

Dr. Lois Jovanovic, who served SDRI for over 25 years, dramatically changed the medical care of pregnant women with diabetes worldwide through diet and intensive insulin use. This regimen eliminated the warning that women with diabetes should not become pregnant; they are now having healthy babies, making the dream of parenthood a reality. 

SDRIinvestigators are leaders in developing the artificial pancreas. The algorithms developed by SDRI are used in commercial products that allow an automated insulin delivery system that links to a continuous glucose sensor and an insulin pump to manage blood glucose automatically. These efforts lead to a marked improvement in glucose control of children and adults with type 1 diabetes. 

SDRI is also addressing the need to improve health outcomes in minority populations at high risk for diabetes, particularly the Latino population living in Santa Barbara. SDRI is also adding vital nutrition research, through a new initiative called Precision Nutrition. 

“SDRI has a rich, 77-year history of excellence in conducting clinically-relevant research that has made important contributions to improving the management of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes,” says SDRI Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Samuel Klein. 

Today, SDRI is an institution that is respected worldwide for its research that impacts the care of those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and diabetes in pregnancy. 


Sansum Diabetes Research Institute

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(805)682-7640 ext. 246
Director of Development: Kara Hornbuckle


Dedicated to improving the lives of people impacted by diabetes through research, education, and care.

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Living with type 1 diabetes since age seven made my journey to motherhood uniquely challenging. Thankfully, I found invaluable support and care at SDRI through the exceptional guidance of Dr. Kristin Castorino. Throughout my pregnancy, Dr. Castorino’s weekly meetings extended beyond diabetes management; she genuinely cared about my emotional well-being. Our hour-long one-on-one sessions demonstrated the exceptional level of care I received. Working with Dr. Castorino at SDRI felt serendipitous. Her close collaboration with the late Dr. Lois Jovanovic, SDRI’s visionary Chief Scientific Officer, whose pioneering work transformed diabetes care during pregnancy, was profoundly meaningful. Dr. Castorino’s unwavering support turned my dream of motherhood into a beautiful reality.

Halle Wray, SDRI Patient

Our $20 Million Campaign in the Fight Against Diabetes – Every Dollar Counts

“Creating a state-of-the-art research facility is critical for our future,” adds Hornbuckle. “Much of our facility has not been updated since the 1960s. Our team is seeking philanthropic support to make our future possible.”

Part of our campaign will also support the recruitment of healthcare professionals whose dedication will help bring about a positive transformation for people with all types of diabetes, explained Dr. Klein.

“We can make significant progress, yet it is imperative that we enhance our capabilities to further engage in groundbreaking work.” said Dr. Klein.

To learn more about SDRI’s $20 million campaign, please visit https://www.sansum.org/campaign.

Key Supporters

Ann Jackson Family Foundation
Barker Foundation
Jerry and Geri Bidwell
Timothy and Louise Casey
Tom and Nancy Crawford
Virgil Elings
Norman Kurland
and Deborah David
La Centra Sumerlin Foundation
Fred and Joyce Lukas
Mosher Foundation
The Ogle Family
The Paskin Family Foundation
The Radaz Family
The Redman Family
Robert and Ruth Reingold
Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree
Matthew and Natalie Rowe
Santa Barbara Foundation
William K. Bowes, Jr.
Etty Yenni