3 January DRC Director's Report - January 2020 January 3, 2020 By The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center 0 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). These prestigious endowed chairs are funded by the generous donations of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and, provides resources our faculty need to continue their outstanding work primarily in research. Endowed chairs are a valuable asset to the FOEDRC, as they confer prestige to the holder and University of Iowa; and contribute to our ability to recruit and retain the best diabetes and obesity scholars at the university and from institutions across the country. Dr. Sue Bodine, PhD, Professor of Internal Medicine, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, is a Neuromuscular Physiologist whose general field of study is skeletal muscle plasticity. Dr. Bodine moved to the University of Iowa in 2017 from the University of California, Davis where she was a full Professor with joint appointments in the Departments of Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior, and Physiology and Membrane Biology. Her laboratory is interested in identifying the mechanisms responsible for muscle atrophy and determining strategies for preventing atrophy or accelerating recovery following a period of muscle loss. The mechanisms regulating skeletal muscle growth are of interest since activation of hypertrophy pathways could be beneficial in the treatment of atrophy and also because an inability to respond to growth cues could exacerbate the loss of muscle mass and function that occurs during aging and also as the result of obesity and diabetes. Dr. Ayotunde Dokun, MD, PhD, is the Director of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, and the Verna Funke Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center Chair. Dr. Dokun joins us from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center where he was an Associate Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Endocrine Service at Regional One Health. Dr. Dokun’s research interest focuses on understanding how genetic factors and the metabolic abnormalities associated with diabetes contribute to vascular diseases such as peripheral artery disease (PAD). His publications have appeared in Circulation, Circulation Research, the American Journal of Physiology, Heart Circulation and Physiology and a number of other high-impact, peer-reviewed journals. He has shown a commitment to positively shaping the future of the profession through national leadership roles exemplified by his current service on the National Clinical Care Commission (NCCC) that is tasked with providing recommendations on the coordination and leveraging of federal programs related to complex metabolic or autoimmune diseases, many of which are related to diabetes and its complications. Dr. Kamal Rahmouni, PhD, is a Professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Pharmacology and the Department of Internal Medicine. He hold a Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Center Research Chair at the University of Iowa. His work is focused on the neurobiology of metabolism, energy homeostasis and cardiovascular function and related disorders such as obesity, diabetes and hypertension. The central nervous system (brain) is a major player in the regulation of energy homeostasis as well as cardiovascular system. His research is aimed at the identification of the neuroanatomical and molecular pathways involved in the regulation of metabolic, autonomic and cardiovascular functions. The knowledge gained from these studies will advance our understanding of the role of brain pathways in leading to diabetes and some of its cardiovascular complications. The Rahmouni lab uses multidisciplinary approaches including basic research tools, genetic models and physiological techniques that allow his team to address physiological questions at the molecular level. Please join us in saluting Dr. Bodine, Dr. Dokun, and Dr. Rahmouni for their leadership in research and scholarship and their dedication in training the next generation of diabetes researchers. They are tremendous assets to our team and the diabetes research community. Related Articles DRC Director's Report - October 2020 Please join us in welcoming Bhagirath Chaurasia, MS, PhD, to the University of Iowa and to the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center. Dr. Chaurasia also joins the Division of Endocrinology from his previous position as Assistant Professor of Nutrition and Integrative Physiology at the University of Utah. He received his PhD from the University of Cologne in Germany before working as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore. 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 - December 2020 Dr. Vitor Lira Associate Professor of Health and Human Physiology and member of the FOEDRC was recently awarded a new grant from the National Institutes of Health in the amount of $563,723. The grant entitled: “Molecular regulation of protein turnover in skeletal muscle” will study an important condition that afflicts many individuals as they age, particularly those with diabetes. Aging-related skeletal muscle atrophy and weakness, also referred to as sarcopenia, affects millions of people contributing to the development of several chronic conditions associated with poor health outcomes, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. Although sarcopenia remains poorly understood and lacks effective therapy, aged muscles manifest a problem of poor protein turnover or recycling which is called proteotoxicity. 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 - August 2020 The prevalence of obesity continues to increase worldwide due to changes in dietary composition including the addition of sweetners to many food products and evolving patterns of eating behaviors. In particular, excessive consumption of sugars has been linked to metabolic diseases such as diabetes, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a liver-derived hormone that signals to the brain to reduce sugar intake, but the mechanism for this effect was unknown. This new study by Ph.D. student Sharon Jensen-Cody and other colleagues in the laboratory of Matt Potthoff, Associate Professor in the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Center and Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience discovered that FGF21 signals to specific nerve cells called glutamatergic neurons in the brain to lower sugar intake and sweet-taste preference. DRC Director's Report - September 2020 Renata Pereira, PhD, Research Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Endocrinology and Metabolism, and member of the FOEDRC, is the recipient of a new NIH R01 grant for $1.9M to support her work entitled The role of the integrated stress response in brown adipose tissue-mediated metabolic adaptations. “Obesity and related conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, are some of the greatest health problems affecting today’s society. In an effort to better understand ways in which the body can increase its metabolism to burn fat and prevent the effects of those diseases, Dr. Pereira has focused her studies on special fat cells called brown (or beige) fat cells. Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.