History of the Foundation
In 1972 in order to fund dedicated and ongoing research on diabetes and related vascular diseases through private sources, St. Louis physician researchers, Drs. Charles Kilo and Joseph R. Williamson founded the Kilo Diabetes & Vascular Research Foundation.
Because they believed that normalization of blood sugar could delay or prevent the many vascular and neurological complications of diabetes, Drs. Kilo and Williamson and their research team challenged and successfully refuted a major government study of diabetes treatment (the University Group Diabetes Program). The government study now stands widely discredited, and the American Diabetes Association withdrew their support for the studys findings. Aggressively treating people with diabetes to bring blood sugar levels within normal ranges is now the accepted treatment throughout the world.
Drs. Kilo and Williamson refuted evidence that diabetic complications are mainly the result of genetics. They showed that diabetic complications are related to the duration of diabetes and the degree of blood sugar control.
The overall research objective is to understand how diabetes affects the body and to develop medications and interventions to prevent vascular damage and diabetes-induced complications of blindness, heart attacks, strokes, nerve damage and kidney failure. This research has important implications for non-diabetics as well since we have discovered great similarities between the vascular damage caused by diabetes and damage to arteries and blood vessels that leads to heart attacks and strokes in non-diabetics.