UT Southwestern receives $1.78 million grant for obesity research as part of NIH Roadmap initiative

dical Research, is lead investigator for the team studying central regulators of energy metabolism. The molecular biology of energy metabolism will be headed by Dr. Horton, while Dr. Craig Malloy, professor of radiology and internal medicine, will oversee the in vivo intermediary metabolism team. Dr. Scott Grundy, director of the Center for Human Nutrition, is lead investigator for the human genetics and energy metabolism group.

"This grant will stimulate us to think outside of the field in which we're used to thinking and to interact with people looking at body-weight regulation from different perspectives," said Dr. Parker. "It will cause us to develop collaborations that we wouldn't have done before."

In applying the research to humans, investigators will use participants from the Dallas Heart Study, an investigation of cardiovascular disease involving nearly 6,000 Dallas County residents. Molecular and clinical research techniques are being used in this groundbreaking study of a large multiethnic group of individuals to develop new biotechnology and establish a novel training program for scientist-physicians.

"Everyone has a friend or family member who has the metabolic syndrome, so it's a common problem. The Dallas Heart Study gives us a real snapshot of what the exact prevalence is in Dallas," Dr. Malloy said. "There also are underlying conditions, such as fatty liver, that would never be identified in the population without those people having participated in the study. Fatty liver is a very important component of the work being done within this NIH grant. The Dallas Heart Study serves as a tremendous opportunity to jumpstart this project."

The exploratory work is expected to eventually lead to another NIH clinical research center grant which will further support basic and clinical research in obesity and its associated complications, Dr. Horton said.

"Metabolic diseases, such as obesity and diabetes, are going to be a

Contact: Scott Maier
UT Southwestern Medical Center

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