DRC Research Pair Receive National Recognition
Friday, November 01, 2013
Every day, diabetes research efforts funded by The Fraternal Order of Eagles continue to make progress toward finding a cure. For two of our researchers, such progress was recently recognized on a national level.
Matthew J. Potthoff, PhD., an assistant professor of pharmacology, was recently awarded a three-year grant from the Edward Mallinckrodt Jr. Foundation, which allows him $60,000 per-year to fund his project entitled “Novel Therapeutic Approach to Combat Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome.” This funding complements the research award Potthoff received earlier this year from the American Diabetes Association.
Dr. Potthoff’s lab is focused on discovering new pathways that regulate energy metabolism and which may be dysregulated during obesity and diabetes. Recently, Dr. Potthoff identified a potential mechanism to increase insulin sensitivity and treat diabetes and obesity, based on insights that his research has provided regarding a new hormone secreted by the liver called FGF21. This hormone could ultimately be developed into a new treatment for diabetes.
The resources provided by the Edward Mallinckrodt Jr. Foundation Grant and the F.O.E. Diabetes Research Center will allow Dr. Potthoff to study this pathway in greater detail to accelerate the development of this novel therapy to treat diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.
Qi Wu, PhD., also an assistant professor of pharmacology, has been named as a 2013 Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences. Wu is one of just 22 scientists nationwide to receive this prestigious four-year, $240,000 award from the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Dr. Wu’s lab is focused on the regulation of appetite and energy metabolism by the brain. Wu said his research specifically aims to better understand how the brain controls food intake and energy metabolism. These pathways in the brain respond to abnormal levels of nutritional and hormonal signals that originate from the overconsumption of high fat and high sugar diets.
Dr. Wu’s work could point the way to possible treatments for regulating appetite and the way in which the body burns energy. His work is not only relevant to the treatment of metabolic disorders, such as type 2 diabetes but also eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and food addiction.
Members Donate More Than $10k for Operation Eagle
Monday, October 28, 2013
Last month, we asked members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles to make donations to our annual Operation Eagle program to assist those overseas this coming holiday season. Eagles stepped up to the plate with $10,687.62 in donations as well as several boxes of toiletries, non-perishable food items and more. On Thursday, Oct. 24, staff from the Grand Aerie Headquarters headed to the Grove City Wal-Mart to purchase items requested by this year's recipients as well as $1,000 in gift cards donated by the store to help the cause. The total value of goods purchased using donated money and gift cards was $11,609.74 Thank you to Eagles everywhere and to Wal-Mart for making this fantastic effort possible.
Visit our Flickr page to view photos from the spree.
This year's recipients are:
-Christopher Patrick,Ft. Smith, Arkansas, #208
-Michael Rowe,Atlanta, Georgia, #714
-Steven Wolenski, Cocoa, Florida, #3550
-Adam B. West, Hopkinsville, Kentucky, #3423
The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center Announces New Grant Recipients
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center at The University of Iowa has announced its third round of research grants, awarded to fund innovative pilot projects by investigators who are starting a research career in diabetes or established investigators who are entering the diabetes research field.
The program is designed to provide necessary assistance to researchers in order to develop projects with the hope of receiving substantial peer-reviewed national funding to accelerate research efforts. The grants provided consist of funds donated by the F.O.E.
A total of 28 researchers from across the UI campus submitted proposals. The three selected applicants will receive $50,000 to conduct their research, with a potential second year of funding for a possible total of $100,000 over a two-year period.
The new recipients include:
Charlie Brenner, PhD
Roy J. Carver Chair of Biochemistry
Dr. Brenner aims to study the impact of nicotinamide riboside (NR) in the treatment or prevention of diabetic neuropathy (nerve loss). Preliminary study indicates that NR can protect against nerve loss in rats with untreated diabetes. Brenner’s additional research will attempt to translate the discovery into a human medicine. The provided grant will enable Brenner to obtain data on the window of opportunity for protecting against nerve loss and related diabetic complications.
Michael Lutter, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry
Dr. Lutter will study how consumption of calorie-dense food contributes to the development of obesity and diabetes. As most people know, obesity is a common problem predisposing individuals to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and more. High-calorie foods contribute to the development of obesity, however it is not understood why some individuals are more resistant to weight-gain than others. Lutter’s study aims to identify how a recently discovered gene mutation increases metabolic rate in others, preventing weight gain after consumption of calorie-dense foods and preventing obesity and related disorders such as diabetes.
Philip Polgreen, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine – Infectious Diseases
Dr. Polgreen will evaluate a novel tool using text messages to promote sustained weight loss in patients with obesity and insulin resistance. Using a platform his team has built on a commercially available device (FitBits), the system can monitor patient activity levels and send automated text messages encouraging users to set daily goals and increase physical activity. Typically, users respond better to encouragement as opposed to being left on their own to facilitate weight loss and Polgreen’s research expects to find that the monitoring of levels and personalized feedback will increase success in individual weight loss efforts.
Additionally, the four researchers awarded first-year grants last year have been approved for a second-year of funding. They include:
• Chadi Calarge, MD, for studies of whether antipsychotic drugs cause weight gain and diabetes by altering intestinal bacterial populations.
• Gary L. Pierce, PhD, for studies of whether inhibition of inflammation affects macrovascular and autonomic dysfunction in obese, prediabetic humans.
• Dawn E. Quelle, PhD, who will continue to study how the protein Parf-1A regulates the growth of insulin producing beta cells in the pancreas, and thus influences the development of diabetes.
• Yuriy M. Usachev, PhD, for studies to target mitochondrial processes that might provide neuro protection in peripheral diabetic neuropathy.
More complete descriptions of their projects can be found at: http://www.healthcare.uiowa.edu/centers/diabetes/news.html
Editor’s Note: Information used in this story was provided by the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine with medical terminology and scientific explanations summarized for a broader audience by The Fraternal Order of Eagles.