Available to stream: January 26, 2023 12:00 am - February 12, 2023 11:59 pm EST

The Human Trial

Would you go first?
Presented by JDRF Canada
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T1D Clinical Trials
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In 2011, Lisa Hepner and her husband Guy Mossman heard about a radical stem cell treatment for diabetes, a disease that shockingly kills more than five million people each year. Driven by a desire to cure Lisa of her own type 1 diabetes (T1D), the filmmakers were given unprecedented, real-time access to a clinical trial — only the sixth-ever embryonic stem cell trial in the world. What follows is an intimate journey with the patients and scientists who put themselves on the line to be first.

The Human Trial peels back the headlines to show the sweat, passion and sacrifice poured into every medical breakthrough. It interweaves the stories of the patients — who have borne the physical and financial burdens of type 1 diabetes (T1D) — with the researchers who epitomize the struggle of innovating cures. Director Lisa Hepner — whose own T1D fuels her search for a cure — becomes the bridge between these two worlds, The narrative arc is the clinical trial itself.

For seven years, Lisa and Guy embedded themselves with a biotech company in San Diego. They filmed the researchers’ triumphs and failures in the lab, following them from Tokyo to Riyadh as they raised money to keep their trial going. At the same time, the husband/wife team followed two patients, the self-described “guinea pigs” at the University of Minnesota. Combining these two points of view, the filmmakers reveal the emotional and physical rollercoaster that scientists and patients go through as they travel along the road to a cure for disease.

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our strength lies in our
exclusive focus and singular influence on the worldwide effort to end T1D.
Our story
In 1974, a group of parents determined to find a cure for their children living with type 1 diabetes (T1D)
came together and began JDRF Canada. Learn more
JDRF Worldwide
Our five affiliates are pivotal partners in funding the research that will help improve the lives of people
living with T1D until there is a cure. Learn more
Our Partners
Our corporate partners take raising funds and awareness for T1D research to new heights. Learn more
Contact us
JDRF National Office
235 Yorkland Blvd. Suite 600
Toronto, ON M2J 4Y8
TF: 1.877.287.3533
Fax: 416.491.2111
T1D Clinical Trials

A key component of JDRF’s research strategy is the support of clinical trials because they help advance work that has been tested extensively in the lab to testing in people.  These real-life studies are when we truly put new therapies designed to prevent, treat or cure type 1 diabetes (T1D) to the test. Learn more

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