NIDDK Diabetic Foot Consortium

The NIDDK Diabetic Foot Consortium (DFC) is the first clinical network for the study of diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) – a common, expensive, and debilitating complication of diabetes that leads to over 100,000 amputations in the United States every year. The Diabetic Foot Consortium was started to address this significant public health problem by building a research infrastructure and validating biomarkers to predict healing or recurrence of DFUs.

Non-diabetic vs Diabetic tissues

Figure 1: Diabetic tissues (right) exhibit selective depletion of cell populations (blue and green), fundamentally altering their “cellular ecology.”

The University of Arizona – Tucson participates as a Clinical Research Unit under the direction of Dr. Geoffrey Gurtner in the role of Principal Investigator to support the mission of the Diabetic Foot Consortium with the following goals: 1) develop and validate biomarkers for DFUs, 2) accelerate advances in DFU standard care, 3) characterize the role of social determinants of health for DFU healing and recurrence, and 4) build on the consortium's infrastructure through ancillary studies and satellite sites.

Surgery/Podiatry/Clinical Team Collaborators

Figure 2. UArizona Banner Health provides a wide range of evaluation and treatment services for chronic wounds with an integrated team of physicians and podiatry specialists.

Prior to joining the University of Arizona as the Chair of Surgery, Dr. Gurtner participated in the Diabetic Foot Consortium as PI of the Clinical Research Unit at Stanford University. At the University of Arizona, the newly formed clinical research team, enrolling podiatrists, and clinical and administrative personnel at Banner – University Medicine North and Banner – University Medical Center South have significantly contributed to the Diabetic Foot Consortium by facilitating enrollment of participants. The team of clinicians, clinical staff and clinical research coordinators are the foundation for exceeding expectations for enrolling eligible participants, setting the foundation for future studies in the department of surgery directed to researching challenging clinical conditions and solving unmet clinical needs.

These two publications reference the U01 in the acknowledgements:

Januszyk M, Chen K, Henn D, Foster DS, Borrelli MR, Bonham CA, Sivaraj D, Wagh D, Longaker MT, Wan DC, Gurtner GC. Characterization of Diabetic and Non-Diabetic Foot Ulcers Using Single-Cell RNA-Sequencing. Micromachines (Basel). 2020 Aug 28;11(9):815. doi: 10.3390/mi11090815. PMID: 32872278; PMCID: PMC7570277.

Foster DS, Januszyk M, Yost KE, Chinta MS, Gulati GS, Nguyen AT, Burcham AR, Salhotra A, Ransom RC, Henn D, Chen K, Mascharak S, Tolentino K, Titan AL, Jones RE, da Silva O, Leavitt WT, Marshall CD, des Jardins-Park HE, Hu MS, Wan DC, Wernig G, Wagh D, Coller J, Norton JA, Gurtner GC, Newman AM, Chang HY, Longaker MT. Integrated spatial multiomics reveals fibroblast fate during tissue repair. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2021 Oct 12;118(41):e2110025118. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2110025118. PMID: 34620713; PMCID: PMC8521719.