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JDRF announces 2008 Scholar Award recipients
Date:8/1/2008

ntal factors that may play a role in causing diabetes, with the goal of developing tools that predict susceptibility to the disease and therapies that slow, reverse, or prevent it altogether. Dr. Bluestone's project will advance knowledge in autoimmunity and accelerate the pace of research JDRF promotes. Steady progress in autoimmunity research will eventually lead to approaches to kill off the majority of the cells that contribute to the cause of type 1 diabetes.

Dr. Cooper received the award for his research project: "Set 7: a novel target for diabetic vascular complications." He plans to study the metabolic memory of cells remembering past glucose levels and in turn, damaging and destroying cells and blood vessels in people with diabetes. He will also investigate the connection between long-term high glucose and diabetic vascular complications through a new mechanism that invokes oxidative stress leading to alterations in gene expression, the penultimate driver of diabetic complications. Central to the new mechanism is the specialized enzyme called Set7, responsible for altering the fine structure of the DNA-protein complexes in our cells. Through their ability to modify the protein component of the complexes, enzymes like Set7 can change whether or not genes are expressed.

Rapidly emerging technologies and a new understanding of why and how complications develop are helping reduce the risk and severity of complications for people with type 1 diabetes. With new methods for detecting complications in their earliest stages and effective strategies for intervention, it is now possible to significantly slow down or delay the most serious consequences of diabetes related complications. Dr. Cooper's project examines diabetic cardiovascular complications and his research will enable people with diabetes to live longer, healthier lives.

Current JDRF Scholars Include:

Dr. Michael Brownlee
Albert Einstein College of
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Contact: Jillian Lubarsky
jlubarsky@jdrf.org
212-479-7626
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
Source:Eurekalert

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