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The latest news from the Fraternal Order of Eagles

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DRC Director's Report - May 2022

Obesity causes a buildup of fat metabolites, including a toxic lipid molecule ceramide. Buildup of ceramide worsens health because it contributes to the development of diabetes and other diseases. 

Previous work has shown that targeting ceramide is an effective strategy to treat obesity, diabetes and associated cardiovascular disease. This can be achieved using a molecule called myriocin which is a very potent inhibitor of ceramide generation. 

Myriocin-mediated reduction of ceramide levels was found to be an effective way to treat obesity and associated diseases in rodents. Myriocin, which is not approved for use in humans, is abundant in a number of fungal species including the one called Cordyceps which is routinely consumed as part of traditional Chinese medicine used for the treatment of numerous diseases including diabetes. 

 

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DRC Director's Report - April 2022

A research team that includes several FOEDRC faculty recently published an article describing a new approach to help treat type 2 diabetes. The research team included FOEDRC faculty members Robert Kerns PhD, Andrew Norris MD PhD, Eric Taylor PhD, Yumi Imai MD, and Jessica Smith MD. Also recognized in the publication was Wojciech Grzesik, PhD, who is a research scientist in the FOEDRC metabolic phenotyping core. The work was published in the prestigious journal "Nature Communications" and can be found at this link : https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35145074/

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DRC Director's Report - March 2022

Recently the International Journal of Science featured important research by a member of the FOEDRC, Ayotunde Dokun, MD, PhD, Director of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and his team. Peripheral arterial disease is the narrowing or blockage of the vessels that supply blood to lower extremities. This disease affects millions of individuals with diabetes and is considered a major complication of diabetes which often lead to limb amputation.

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DRC Director's Report - February 2022

On January 3rd, 2022, we celebrated the career of FOEDRC faculty member Dr. Eva Tsalikian on the occasion of her well-earned retirement. For over 4 decades, Dr. Tsalikian has been tireless in her pursuit of better treatments for children with diabetes. Her research work earned her the 2011 Mary Tyler Moore & S. Robert Levine Excellence in Clinical Diabetes Research award and she was the 2013 Honoree at the Eastern Iowa Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation gala.

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DRC Director's Report - January 2022

It is with mixed emotions, but with a sense of great pride in our accomplishments that I write this my final Director’s report. When I came to the University of Iowa nearly 9-years ago, I was given a challenge to leverage the generous gift of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, to develop a world class diabetes research center. 

I reflected back on where things were at the University of Iowa in 2008, when the FOE began your campaign for the Diabetes Research Center and where they are now. In 2008, there were 5 faculty members identified as doing diabetes research with a total team of 20. We had 10 grants received and approximately $1M in funding from the National Institute of Health.

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DRC Director's Report - December 2021

On September 23, the Carver College of Medicine hosted the Fall 2021 investiture to celebrate endowed faculty appointments.  The receipt of endowed chairs recognizes faculty whom have established a track record of accomplishment and whose ongoing success will pave the way for the future of medicine.  We are proud to announce that Matthew Potthoff, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology is the newest FOEDRC member appointed to an endowed chair.  

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DRC Director's Report - November 2021

In September 2021, Brian T. O’Neill, Assistant Professor in Internal Medicine and member of FOEDRC, published a paper in the Journal of Clinical Investigation that shows how insulin and the closely related insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) work in muscle to regulate energy production in mitochondria by suppressing the activation of FoxO transcription factors. Decreased muscle strength and muscle atrophy are features of long-standing or uncontrolled diabetes that can worsen with aging or bedrest after surgery.

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A Special Message from DRC Director Dr. E. Dale Abel

Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Fraternal Order of Eagles,

After 8.5 years as Director of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC), I write to share with you that I will be relocating from Iowa to California. In January, I will begin a new journey as Chair of Medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and executive medical director of the UCLA Health System’s Department of Medicine. 

I will continue to conduct diabetes research there but will pass over the reins of leading the FOEDRC to trusted colleagues who have served by my side throughout my tenure as your director. These are individuals that you have met and know and whom I am confident will continue to fulfill your dream of curing diabetes. In the meantime, I will remain a senior advisor to the new leaders of the FOEDRC and in this way continue to fulfill my commitment to your mission.

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DRC Director's Report - September 2021

Congratulations to Huxing Cui, PhD, Assistant Professor of Neuroscience and Pharmacology and member of the FOEDRC, who is the recent recipient of a National Institutes of Health R01 grant. Cui’s grant funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute provides $2,267,270 through March of 2025. The proposal is entitled: “Decoding brain circuit underlying metabolic regulation of sleep-wake behavior”. Sleep disorders and obesity are inextricably linked – poor sleep quality and short sleep duration increase the risk of developing obesity, while obesity is an independent risk factor for chronic sleep disruption (CSD) and excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). 

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DRC Director's Report - March 2021

This month, the Spring 2021 issue of the Iowa Magazine devoted its cover and featured the University of Iowa Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC). The heartwarming article shares real life testimonies of diabetic individuals, cared for at the University of Iowa and the impact of diabetes on their daily life. 

The desire for relief is real and certainly not lost on physicians and scientists at the FOEDRC. The Center’s mission is to improve the lives of individuals with the disease and find a cure. Every day dedicated FOEDRC scientists conduct a wide range of research projects to improve and benefit the lives of many.