Researcher wins award from American Diabetes Association

A researcher at the University of Rochester Medical Center has won the 2006 Thomas R. Lee Career Development Award from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), which includes an $842,400 grant to study how diabetes dramatically increases risk for cardiovascular disease. The award recognizes the excellence in diabetes-related research achieved by Zheng-Gen Jin, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Medicine and the Cardiovascular Research Institute, and supports his lab's work.

Nearly 21 million Americans have diabetes. The most life-threatening consequences of diabetes are heart diseases and stroke, which strike people with diabetes twice as often as people without the disease. More than 65 percent of deaths in diabetes patients are attributed to heart and vascular disease. Thus, researchers are seeking urgency to understand why people with diabetes are at greater risk. Dr. Jin won the award for his study, titled Molecular Basis for Diabetes-associated endothelial dysfunction, which focuses on how high blood sugar (blood glucose) in diabetes patients contributes to narrowed blood vessels, creating risk for heart attack and stroke.

Dr. Jin was chosen because his ADA grant application was found to have the highest scientific merit in a given fiscal year. The Thomas R. Lee Career Development Award is funded in full by the Estate of Mr. Thomas R. Lee of Norfolk, Virginia, through ADA Research Foundation. The ADA funding for Jin's lab begins this year and runs through 2010.

"I am honored and excited to receive the award because I believe it will help us to improve the understanding of how two deadly diseases are related," Jin said. "Both diabetes and heart disease have reached epidemic levels and are projected to get worse, so we appreciate Mr. Lee's generosity and applaud the ADA's support of the search for better, preventive treatments."

Diabetes Study Details

Diabetes mellitus is a long-term disease where pa

Contact: Greg Williams
University of Rochester Medical Center

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