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 - 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 - 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 - January 2019 The new year is always a time to look back and reflect on the many achievements of the prior year. I have been pleased that the Fraternal Order of Eagles has committed continued support to a program that will be overseen by the FOEDRC that seeks to develop new treatments for diabetes and its complications and to bring them ultimately to market. The Bridge to the cure program represents an innovative collaboration and we are excited by what this new year will bring. For this reason, I have chosen to write about one example from a FOEDRC member that recently demonstrated the ability of the compound nicotinamide riboside to restore nerve damage from chemotherapy. We believe that this same mechanism could lead to improved nerve function in people with diabetes. I hope that you will enjoy reading about this exciting advance below. 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 - April 2020 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. 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.