NEW YORK A multidisciplinary team of researchers from Columbia University Medical Center has received a $10.8 million, five-year Program Project Grant (PPG) from the National Institutes of Health to investigate why people with type 2 diabetes are dangerously susceptible to heart disease, the leading cause of death for people suffering from diabetes.
In a 2006 Nature Medicine op-ed, Elizabeth (Betsy) G. Nabel, M.D., director of The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and Allen M. Spiegel, M.D., then director of The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), called for researchers from different disciplines to study the two top killers of Americans diabetes and heart disease in a more unified fashion and specifically to investigate the connection between insulin signaling and atherosclerosis.
Ira Tabas, M.D., Ph.D., professor and vice-chairman of research in the Department of Medicine at Columbias College of Physicians & Surgeons, Alan Tall, M.D., a professor of medicine in the Division of Molecular Medicine, and Domenico Accili, M.D., a professor of medicine and the co-director of research at CUMCs Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, answered that call. The three investigators bring distinctly unique expertise in their respective disciplines and years of experience to bear on the problem of atherosclerosis and its effects on diabetes.
The worldwide epidemic of obesity has led to staggering rates of type 2 diabetes and, in turn, the deadly consequences of heart disease, said Dr. Tabas, the grants principal investigator. If we could better understand the role that insulin resistance plays in the progression of atherosclerosis, we may be able to develop therapies to prevent the serious consequences from both of these diseases.
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Columbia University Medical Center