Newgard, professor of biochemistry, will use viral gene transfer vectors to study fundamental metabolic regulatory mechanisms and the therapeutic use of specific genes in type II diabetes. He will be aided in this work by the application of nuclear magnetic resonance methods for metabolic analysis, developed by Sherry and his co-workers. Two of the specific aims are focused on a newly discovered family of glycogen targeting subunits of protein phosphatase-1.
Unger, professor of internal medicine, will continue his work with leptin, a hormone that appears to cause fat to melt out of tissue. Obesity is a significant risk factor for type II diabetes; more than 80 percent of those with the disease are obese. He seeks to determine whether lipotoxicity is a mechanism that affects the function of cells other than islet b-cells, using the heart as a new model system. He will also determine whether his observations can be extrapolated to include an alternative animal model of obesity and diabetes (the diet-induced obesity rat) that bears closer resemblance to human obesity and non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. As a co-investigator of this project, Mangelsdorf will contribute expertise in molecular biology of genes involved in lipid metabolism.
Johnston, director of the Center for Biomedical Inventions, and
Kodadek, professor of internal medicine and biochemistry, will seek
ways to deliv
Contact: Theresa Merola Hernandez
UT Southwestern Medical Center