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Scripps Research scientists awarded $2.35 million to study new obesity treatment
Date:12/7/2010

JUPITER, FL, December 6, 2010 The Scripps Research Institute has been awarded a $2.35 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study a new way of treating obesity as part of a national consortium with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

The long-term aim of the research is to develop compounds that can control the formation and function of a particular type of fat cell that burns calories and reduces weight.

Patrick R. Griffin, chair of the Department of Molecular Therapeutics and director of the Translational Research Institute at Scripps Florida, and Theodore Kamenecka, associate scientific director of the Translational Research Institute, are consortium principal investigators, along with Bruce M. Spiegelman, of the Boston-based Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School.

The total for the three-year award, a highly competitive National Institutes of Health Director's Opportunity Grant, is $4.2 million with $2.35 million going to Scripps Research in Florida.

"This grant speaks to the critical research components we have developed at Scripps Florida," Griffin said, "plus the fact that we have a host of resources that aren't found anywhere else in academia. Bruce Speigelman is expert in the understanding of fat and energy utilization, and we're experts in understanding how certain receptors are activated and modulated by small molecule drugs, which is central to the success of the research. Our collaboration offers the best team possible to exploit this potentially life-changing biology."

The new research is aimed at creating new therapeutic approaches to the national problem of obesity based on regulating brown fat, a type of cell that plays a critical role in controlling metabolic rates and fighting obesity. Western countries the U.S. in particular are in the midst of a growing epidemic of obesity and its associated problems, including high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and certain
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Contact: Mika Ono
mikaono@scripps.edu
858-784-2052
Scripps Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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