Under the direction of diabetes expert Dr. Chris Newgard, two biology projects will proceed concurrently with two biomedical technology development projects to find a way to treat adult-onset diabetes.
The "Development of Novel Therapies for Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus" will bring together researchers from the Center for Biomedical Inventions, the Touchstone Diabetes Center, which Newgard co-directs with Dr. Roger Unger; and the Mary Nell and Ralph B. Rogers Magnetic Resonance Center.
The NIH typically does not fund technology development, which makes this grant unique, said Newgard."Study sections at the NIH don't often look favorably upon proposals unless there's a very clear hypothesis and there's a very discreet biological problem that you are seeking to solve with methods that are approved by the community at large," said Newgard. "So we really did feel like it was a gamble to go and say, 'We're going to do two biology projects, but we're also going to do two projects that can advance the biology after we develop the technology.' And we were quite pleased and surprised that the site study team viewed it favorably."
In addition to Newgard's work in metabolic gene therapy for diabetes, Unger, Dr. Stephen Johnston and Dr. Thomas Kodadek will direct projects in their respective fields. Other investigators include Dr. A. Dean Sherry, professor of radiology; Dr. David Mangelsdorf, professor of pharmacology and associate professor of biochemistry; Dr. Robert Meidell, associate professor of internal medicine; and Dr. Paul Grayburn, professor of internal medicine.