ECDRE is the first engineering center in the U.S. to focus on the treatment and cure of diabetes. IIT faculty members, in collaboration with faculty, medical investigators and clinicians at the University of Chicago, University of Illinois, and Rush University, and Argonne National Laboratory, are working on a variety of diabetes-related research projects. Established in 2005, ECDRE's primary focus has been on biomaterials, vascular research, and education. ECDRE is a component of the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering, which is developing a biomedical research thrust on the campus.
Faculty at IIT are investigating many areas of diabetes, from cause to cure. Some of the current research is aimed at: biomaterials for islet encapsulation and transplantation, vascular diseases and wound healing, thrombosis prevention, artificial pancreas systems with automatic insulin pumps, glucose monitoring, retinopathy, behavior modification, and educational tools and software.