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The latest news from the Fraternal Order of Eagles

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DRC Directors' Report - February 2023

Congratulations to our Bridge to the Cure new recipient! 

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Bing Li was selected as a new recipient of the Bridge to the Cure award. Dr. Li will join current recipients of this Award: Dr Julien Sebag and Dr. Calvin Carter. 

The Bridge to a Cure initiative is designed to support members of the FOEDRC to accelerate promising research aimed at the development of novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment and/or prevention of diabetes. The support has been made possible by an ongoing commitment of the Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE) to support the mission of the FOEDRC. 

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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.

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DRC Director's Update - November 2022

Neuropathy is a devastating diabetes complication that causes nerve damage throughout the body. This can lead to infection and/or amputation of the affected area. The most common type of neuropathy is peripheral neuropathy. This affects the nerves in the hands, feet, legs, and arms. Peripheral neuropathy is the most common complication of diabetes affecting about 50% of patients.

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DRC Director's Report - September 2022

Over the past decade, evidence has emerged indicating that high blood sugars in type 1 diabetes cause adverse brain changes in children. The adverse changes include abnormal brain structural alterations and reduced functioning on some cognitive tests. Over the past few years, hybrid closed-loop insulin pumps have become commercially available. These devices combine a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) with an insulin pump that is controlled by an algorithm that uses the CGM data to inform insulin delivery.

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DRC Director's Report - August 2022

This June, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) hosted its 82nd Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, LA. Each year, thousands of attendees join together from across the world to hear the latest cutting-edge research. Sharing the latest scientific findings, the annual meeting is the largest and most important gathering focused on diabetes research. The ADA is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For 82 years, the ADA has driven research to treat, manage and prevent diabetes while also working relentlessly for a cure. 

Diabetes is the most common underlying chronic condition in the United States. 133 million Americans currently live with diabetes or prediabetes and, in the last 20 years, the number of Americans with diagnosed diabetes has more than doubled. The ADA is focused on timely, critical advancements in diabetes research and care. 

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DRC Director's Report - July 2022

Recently, the University of Iowa Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC) held our annual Diabetes Research Day in collaboration with the University of Minnesota Institute for Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism. This year, Diabetes Research Day was a hybrid event comprised of speakers from both institutions and split into two different events. 

Our first keynote speaker was Bryan Bergman, PhD. Professor in the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus who gave a talk entitled Intermuscular Adipose Tissue: A Novel Adipose Depot Impacting Muscle Strength, Size, and Insulin Sensitivity in Humans. 

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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.