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The latest news from the Fraternal Order of Eagles

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DRC Director's Report - November 2021

In September 2021, Brian T. O’Neill, Assistant Professor in Internal Medicine and member of FOEDRC, published a paper in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that shows how insulin and the closely related insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) work in muscle to regulate energy production in mitochondria by suppressing the activation of FoxO transcription factors. Decreased muscle strength and muscle atrophy are features of long-standing or uncontrolled diabetes that can worsen with aging or bedrest after surgery.

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A Special Message from DRC Director Dr. E. Dale Abel

Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Fraternal Order of Eagles,

After 8.5 years as Director of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC), I write to share with you that I will be relocating from Iowa to California. In January, I will begin a new journey as Chair of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and executive medical director of the UCLA Health System’s Department of Medicine. 

I will continue to conduct diabetes research there but will pass over the reins of leading the FOEDRC to trusted colleagues who have served by my side throughout my tenure as your director. These are individuals that you have met and know and whom I am confident will continue to fulfill your dream of curing diabetes. In the meantime, I will remain a senior advisor to the new leaders of the FOEDRC and in this way continue to fulfill my commitment to your mission.

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DRC Director's Report - October 2021

John Engelhardt, PhD, Professor and Chair, Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, and Andrew Norris, MD, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and Biochemistry and Associate Director of the FOE Diabetes Research Center (DRC), have just been awarded a three-year, $4.5M research grant from the NIH's National Institutes of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases. The project will investigate the changes that occur in insulin producing cells that are affected by cystic fibrosis (CF).

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DRC Director's Report - September 2021

Congratulations to Huxing Cui, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Pharmacology and member of the FOEDRC, who is the recent recipient of a National Institutes of Health R01 grant. Cui’s grant funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides $2,267,270 through March of 2025. The proposal is entitled: “Decoding brain circuit underlying metabolic regulation of sleep-wake behavior”. Sleep disorders and obesity are inextricably linked – poor sleep quality and short sleep duration increase the risk of developing obesity, while obesity is an independent risk factor for chronic sleep disruption (CSD) and excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). 

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DRC Director's Report - August 2021

Postdoctoral research scholar, Calvin Carter, PhD, member of the FOEDRC and recipient of the prestigious FOE Bridge to the Cure award, in collaboration with other FOEDRC researchers, has discovered a safe new way to manage blood sugar non-invasively. Exposing diabetic mice to a combination of static electric and magnetic fields for a few hours per day normalized blood glucose levels and reversed insulin resistance.

“The more we look, the more the transfer of electrons seems to underlie diabetes,” Carter said in a Q&A with the American Diabetes Association (ADA). That search was borne out last fall, when Carter and MD/PhD student Sunny Huang, PhD, published ground-breaking findings in Cell Metabolism, showing that static electric and magnetic fields (EMFs) can be used to normalize blood glucose in diabetic mice. Reactions in the press were excited and swift to the researchers’ evidence that blood sugar and insulin sensitivity could be controlled non-invasively.

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DRC Director's Report - July 2021

The Spring 2021 issue of the Carver College of Medicine Magazine “Medicine at Iowa”, circulated to all UI alumni, featured an important serendipitous breakthrough by scientists at the University of Iowa Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC). FOEDRC scientists discovered at safe new way to manage blood sugar non-invasively with electromagnetic fields (EMFs). This discovery could have major benefits in diabetes care, particularly for patients whose current treatment plan is cumbersome and involves checking their blood sugar multiple times daily with finger sticks.

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Blue Van Shuttle Offering Discounted Services In Phoenix

The Fraternal Order of Eagles is partnering with Blue Van Shuttle for discounted shuttle rides from the Phoenix Airport to the JW Marriott Desert Ridge and Cambria Hotel for the 2021 International Convention. 

Members can book using the code FOE1 for discounts on a regular shared shuttle or FOE7 when booking a private shuttle for up to 7 people. Codes should be entered in the “Apply Promo Code” box. 

Be sure to use the address for the JW Marriott Desert Ridge (5350 E. Marriott Dr., Phoenix, AZ 85054) when reserving your shuttle ride as there is a second JW Marriott in Phoenix.

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DRC Director's Report - June 2021

Pancreatic beta cells are only cells that can make insulin in humans. In type 2 diabetes, pancreatic beta cells are damaged and cannot make sufficient insulin to keep blood glucose levels normal. As overnutrition and obesity is a well-known risk factor for type 2 diabetes, it is important to find a way to protect beta cells from over nutrition. In a recently published study in the scientific journal JCI Insight, led by Dr. Yumi Imai, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and member of the FOEDRC, her laboratory has discovered that a protein known as Perilipin 2 plays an important role in protecting beta cells under nutritional challenge.

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DRC Director's Report - May 2021

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the US and around the world. This is a problem because being obese increases the likelihood of developing serious medical problems such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and heart failure. Obesity also increases the risks of complications from COVID-19 infections. We still do not understand all of the reasons why obesity develops and why some people develop complications and others do not.

In work recently published in the Journal Molecular Metabolism, FOEDRC member Dr. Kamal Rahmouni, PhD, professor of Neuroscience, Pharmacology, and Internal Medicine, in collaboration with FOEDRC colleagues at the University of Iowa, identified a protein complex, called the BBSome. These are present in neurons (nerve cells) in a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. 

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DRC Director's Report - April 2021

FOEDRC member Matthew Potthoff, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, and graduate student Sharon Jensen-Cody recently wrote a review article entitled: “Hepatokines and metabolism: Deciphering communication from the liver” that was published in the Journal Molecular Metabolism. This article was featured on the cover of the February issue of the Journal, that increased the visibility of their work.