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DRC Director's Report - December 2022

We recently announced the results of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center twelfth round of pilot and feasibility research grants. These grant awards fund innovative pilot projects by early career investigators who are entering the diabetes research field, or established investigators with innovative ideas that focus on a new direction in diabetes research. 

The goal of the program is to generate data that will enable awardees to compete for peer-reviewed national funding for projects that show exceptional promise. A total of 13 researchers from across the University of Iowa campus submitted meritorious proposals that underwent a comprehensive and competitive review.

Two applicants were selected to receive a catalyst award grant to support their research proposal. One of the recipients of this grant is Dr. Anna Stanhewicz who is interested in figuring out why women who develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy are at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes in the decade after pregnancy, even if they are otherwise healthy. The other recipient, Dr. Samuel Stephens, will use animal models and pancreatic human cells to better understand how metabolism supplies antioxidants to the insulin production machinery in the pancreas and more importantly, how this process is lost in the development of type 2 diabetes. 

One applicant, Dr. Ling Wang, was selected to receive a one-year seed grant award to support a discreet research proposal to generate essential preliminary data in a diabetes-related project to increase competitive for subsequent extramural funding. Dr. Wang will study the causes underlying impaired diabetic bone healing which may identify novel molecules that can be used for therapy. 

Finally, one project spearheaded by Dr. Ashutosh Mangalam in collaboration with the University of Minnesota was selected for funding for one year, with the possibility for a second year. This project focuses on understanding the synergistic environmental factors to predispose and/or exacerbate inflammation and obesity. We are hopeful that findings from these various projects will lay the groundwork for the development of novel strategies to reduce the burden of diabetes and obesity on individuals and society.

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The Fraternal Order of Eagles, an international nonprofit organization, unites fraternally in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice and equality, to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills, and by promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope.

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