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The latest news from the Fraternal Order of Eagles

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DRC Director's Report - September 2022

Over the past decade, evidence has emerged indicating that high blood sugars in type 1 diabetes cause adverse brain changes in children. The adverse changes include abnormal brain structural alterations and reduced functioning on some cognitive tests. Over the past few years, hybrid closed-loop insulin pumps have become commercially available. These devices combine a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) with an insulin pump that is controlled by an algorithm that uses the CGM data to inform insulin delivery.

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DRC Director's Report - August 2022

This June, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) hosted its 82nd Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, LA. Each year, thousands of attendees join together from across the world to hear the latest cutting-edge research. Sharing the latest scientific findings, the annual meeting is the largest and most important gathering focused on diabetes research. The ADA is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For 82 years, the ADA has driven research to treat, manage and prevent diabetes while also working relentlessly for a cure. 

Diabetes is the most common underlying chronic condition in the United States. 133 million Americans currently live with diabetes or prediabetes and, in the last 20 years, the number of Americans with diagnosed diabetes has more than doubled. The ADA is focused on timely, critical advancements in diabetes research and care. 

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DRC Director's Report - July 2022

Recently, the University of Iowa Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC) held our annual Diabetes Research Day in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. This year, Diabetes Research Day was a hybrid event comprised of speakers from both institutions and split into two different events. 

Our first keynote speaker was Bryan Bergman, PhD. Professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus who gave a talk entitled Intermuscular Adipose Tissue: A Novel Adipose Depot Impacting Muscle Strength, Size, and Insulin Sensitivity in Humans. 

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DRC Director's Report - May 2022

Obesity causes a buildup of fat metabolites, including a toxic lipid molecule ceramide. Buildup of ceramide worsens health because it contributes to the development of diabetes and other diseases. 

Previous work has shown that targeting ceramide is an effective strategy to treat obesity, diabetes and associated cardiovascular disease. This can be achieved using a molecule called myriocin which is a very potent inhibitor of ceramide generation. 

Myriocin-mediated reduction of ceramide levels was found to be an effective way to treat obesity and associated diseases in rodents. Myriocin, which is not approved for use in humans, is abundant in a number of fungal species including the one called Cordyceps which is routinely consumed as part of traditional Chinese medicine used for the treatment of numerous diseases including diabetes. 

 

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DRC Director's Report - April 2022

A research team that includes several FOEDRC faculty recently published an article describing a new approach to help treat type 2 diabetes. The research team included FOEDRC faculty members Robert Kerns PhD, Andrew Norris MD PhD, Eric Taylor PhD, Yumi Imai MD, and Jessica Smith MD. Also recognized in the publication was Wojciech Grzesik, PhD, who is a research scientist in the FOEDRC metabolic phenotyping core. The work was published in the prestigious journal "Nature Communications" and can be found at this link : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35145074/

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DRC Director's Report - March 2022

Recently the International Journal of Science featured important research by a member of the FOEDRC, Ayotunde Dokun, MD, PhD, Director of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and his team. Peripheral arterial disease is the narrowing or blockage of the vessels that supply blood to lower extremities. This disease affects millions of individuals with diabetes and is considered a major complication of diabetes which often lead to limb amputation.

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DRC Director's Report - February 2022

On January 3rd, 2022, we celebrated the career of FOEDRC faculty member Dr. Eva Tsalikian on the occasion of her well-earned retirement. For over 4 decades, Dr. Tsalikian has been tireless in her pursuit of better treatments for children with diabetes. Her research work earned her the 2011 Mary Tyler Moore & S. Robert Levine Excellence in Clinical Diabetes Research award and she was the 2013 Honoree at the Eastern Iowa Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation gala.

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DRC Director's Report - January 2022

It is with mixed emotions, but with a sense of great pride in our accomplishments that I write this my final Director’s report. When I came to the University of Iowa nearly 9-years ago, I was given a challenge to leverage the generous gift of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, to develop a world class diabetes research center. 

I reflected back on where things were at the University of Iowa in 2008, when the FOE began your campaign for the Diabetes Research Center and where they are now. In 2008, there were 5 faculty members identified as doing diabetes research with a total team of 20. We had 10 grants received and approximately $1M in funding from the National Institute of Health.

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DRC Director's Report - December 2021

On September 23, the Carver College of Medicine hosted the Fall 2021 investiture to celebrate endowed faculty appointments.  The receipt of endowed chairs recognizes faculty whom have established a track record of accomplishment and whose ongoing success will pave the way for the future of medicine.  We are proud to announce that Matthew Potthoff, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology is the newest FOEDRC member appointed to an endowed chair.