5 October DRC Director's Report - October 2020 October 5, 2020 By The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center DRC, FOE DRC, Eagles, Diabetes, Diabetes Research Center, University of Iowa, Dr. Abel 0 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. “The key attraction for me to come to the University of Iowa was the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center led by Dr. Dale Abel that has established itself at the forefront of diabetes research both nationally and internationally. What is unique about FOEDRC is that it not only provides the excellent research infrastructure, but it hosts a combination of young and senior researchers with a common interest in diabetes research. The breadth and depth of the research and the collaborative opportunities along the common theme of diabetes was certainly an attraction for me to come to University of Iowa,” Chaurasia said. Dr. Chaurasia’s lab is interested in understanding how excessive lipids accumulate in various cells and tissues in obesity that can also lead to inflammation that can worsen diabetes signs and symptoms and increase the risk of cardiovascular complications. Dr. Chaurasia has had a distinguished career to date. He comes to Iowa with extensive funding from the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association and pending support from the American Diabetes Association. His recent work has been published in the some of the most competitive scientific journals. His research thus far has revealed that a particular lipid metabolite known as ceramides that are induced both under obesity and inflammation, are important drivers of diabetes and its cardiovascular complications. Dr. Chaurasia’s research has discovered that ceramides act as nutrient signals that modulate metabolism in a diverse range of cell types such as fat cells, immune cells and in blood vessels. Building on these findings, their research program now aims to understand how ceramide synthesis is regulated and elucidate molecular mechanisms that impart ceramides and their toxicity. The outcome of this work will be the development of new tools and therapeutic approaches not only for treating diabetes, but importantly for preventing its cardiovascular complications such as heart attacks and strokes. “I am excited to train and mentor undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Iowa while establishing a research program that is competitive and well-funded,” Chaurasia said. 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 - 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. DRC Director's Report - October 2019 The current epidemic of obesity is a major contributing factor in the rising rate of type 2 diabetes. Recent work from the laboratory of Kamal Rahmouni, PhD, a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC), uncovered a novel and important role for a protein complex called the BBSome in the function of key nerve cells called neurons in small a part of the brain known as the hypothalamus that controls food intake, body’s fat and glucose metabolism. 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. Showing 0 Comment Comments are closed.