30 April DRC Director's Report - April 2020 April 30, 2020 By The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center 0 I am excited to report that Sam Stephens, PhD, Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center member, and Assistant Professor of Internal and Molecular Medicine was recently awarded a $1.2 million grant. The grant was awarded by the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP), administered by the Department of Defense for diabetes research. Dr. Stephens’ laboratory project “Exhausted Protein Sorting Capacity Impairs Beta-Cell Function in Type 2 Diabetes” studies how defects in insulin synthesis and packaging within the pancreatic islet beta-cell contributes to beta-cell dysfunction in Type 2 Diabetes. Small clusters of cells within the pancreas, known as islet beta-cells, regulate blood sugar by controlled release of the hormone insulin. Insulin is made in islet beta-cells where it is packaged into small vesicles and stored until needed. During the course of type 2 diabetes, the islet beta-cells ramp up insulin production to overcome the body’s insulin resistance; however long-term this strategy fails rendering the beta-cell unable to produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood sugar. The reasons for this failure are not known and are the major focus of Stephens’ laboratory. To study this process, Dr. Sam Stephen’s laboratory will use genetically-encoded biosensors and high resolution microscopes to examine how insulin is synthesized, packaged, and stored inside islet beta-cells and how these processes are altered in diabetes. Furthermore, they will use this powerful technique to decipher how diabetes medications may improve the health of beta-cells in type 2 diabetes. Shortly after receiving this great news, we learnt that Dr. Stephens received a second grant, this time from the American Diabetes Association. Dr. Stephens will use the $354,000 grant from the ADA to study how two proteins that are essential for normal insulin secretion, namely chromogranin B and VGF proteins regulate insulin production and storage in the islet beta-cells. Understanding these processes could unlock new approaches for preserving or reversing abnormal function of pancreatic islet cells in diabetes. Join me in congratulating Dr. Stephens on this double achievement! Related Articles 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. DRC Director's Report - April 2019 In a recent study done by Wei Bao, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology and member of the FOEDRC, his research team found that frequent consumption of fried foods, especially fried chicken and fried fish/shellfish, was associated with a higher risk of death from all causes and cardiovascular disease in women in the United States. Women with at least one serving per week of fried chicken had a 13% higher risk of death from all causes, and a 12% higher risk of death from cardiovascular disease, when compared with women with no consumption of fried chicken. 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. 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. 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). DRC Director's Report - December 2018 As we come to the end of another successful year for the FOEDRC, I want to thank the FOE and my colleagues within the Diabetes Research Center for continuing to push the research boundaries to improve the lives of many who suffer from diabetes. On a personal note, I received a number of honors for my work this year including being asked to deliver the Presidential Lecture of the University of Iowa, receiving Fraternal Order of Eagles Humanitarian Award and the 2018 History Makers Award - the African American Museum of Iowa (AAMI). My receipt of this recognition is really a recognition of what you do and I consider myself very fortunate to lead such an outstanding organization. To close out the year I thought you might be interested in reading about some ways that our researchers are turning “fun and games” into a benefit for our patients with diabetes. Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.