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The latest news from the Fraternal Order of Eagles

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DRC Director's Report - July 2020

The greatest risks to long-term health in people with diabetes arise from diabetic complications, particularly cardiovascular disease. However, the mechanisms by which the metabolic changes associated with type 2 diabetes like insulin resistance increases the risk of heart failure are less understood. In a recent publication in JCI Insight, E. Dale Abel, MD, PhD, and other members of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center in collaboration with other institutions, have uncovered an important molecular link between diabetes and heart failure.

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DRC Director's Report - June 2020

FOEDRC members Al Klingelhutz, PhD, Professor of Microbiology & Immunology and Radiation Oncology and James Ankrum, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, have received funding as part of the Iowa Superfund Research Program (ISRP). As co-directors of 1 of the 5 projects, “Role of Airborne PCBs in Adipogenesis, Adipose Function, and Metabolic Syndrome”, they will focus on how the environmentally prevalent toxin PCB ) (polychlorinated biphenyls) accumulation in fat affects the development of obesity, fatty liver disease, and type II diabetes. The ISRP, headed by Keri Hornbuckle, PhD, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will receive a total of $11.4 million over a 5-year period to continue its research on polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, and the impact they have on human health.

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DRC Director's Report - May 2020

Diabetes is a disease of uncontrollable high blood glucose. Insulin, the hormone that reduces blood glucose, is secreted from beta cells embedded in the pancreas in structures called islets. Although overnutrition has been blamed for the inability of beta cells to secrete enough insulin in type 2 diabetes, it has remained unclear how overnutrition causes beta cells to fail. This is a critical question to solve in order to develop effective therapy to protect beta cells in conditions of overnutrition and to cure type 2 diabetes.

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Abel Chosen To Lead One of Four American Heart Association Research Networks

E. Dale Abel, MD, PhD, has been awarded a four-year $3.8M grant from the American Heart Association (AHA) to investigate mechanisms that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with type 2 diabetes. Abel will oversee a Strategically Focused Research Network (SFRN) of three projects in partnership with other UI departments and the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Harvard Medical School. The team will examine the relationship between novel secreted molecules from liver, adipose tissue, and skeletal muscle that may directly or indirectly lead to damage of the heart and blood vessels in individuals with diabetes.

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DRC Director's Report - January 2020

The New Year is a good time to reflect on our past progress and to look forward to research advances in the year to come. In this regard, the receipt of endowed chairs recognizes faculty whom we believe have established a track record of accomplishment and whose ongoing success will pave the way for the future of the FOEDRC. Therefore, we would like to recognize Dr. Sue Bodine, Dr. Ayotunde Dokun, and Dr. Kamal Rahmouni, the three newest recipients of endowed chairs from the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC).

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DRC Director's Report - October 2019

The current epidemic of obesity is a major contributing factor in the rising rate of type 2 diabetes. Recent work from the laboratory of Kamal Rahmouni, PhD, a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC), uncovered a novel and important role for a protein complex called the BBSome in the function of key nerve cells called neurons in small a part of the brain known as the hypothalamus that controls food intake, body’s fat and glucose metabolism.

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DRC Director's Update - September 2019

It has long been known that increased abdominal fat, is a major risk factor for developing diabetes. A new study done by Yangbo Sun, MD, PhD, and colleagues, under supervision of Wei Bao, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and a member of the FOEDRC, has identified a concerning new and underrecognized complication of increased belly fat, namely a high-risk for premature death particularly in post-menopausal women, who might not be obese or overweight.

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DRC Director's Update - August 2019

FOE Diabetes Research Center faculty recognize the importance of continuing the tradition of research excellence as we fight for the bridge to the cure. Because of this, part of our mission must be the preparation of the next generation of diabetes researchers. In addition to our commitment to training Ph.D. students and Postdoctoral scholars, the FOEDRC is a leader at the University of Iowa in providing research experience to our undergraduate students.