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Continued Funding to Help Advance 'Exciting Moment' in Diabetes Research
Date:4/30/2008

American Diabetes Association and Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation Announce Renewed Commitment to Diabetes Gene Study

ALEXANDRIA, Va., April 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has announced research projects to study newly discovered human type 2 diabetes genes in mice, and potentially find new drug molecules that can treat the genetic causes of type 2 diabetes. The projects will be funded through a renewed partnership -- between the ADA/Richard and Susan Smith Family Foundation Pinnacle Program Project Award -- of more than $2 million over three years.

Evan Rosen, MD, PhD, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and Vamsi K. Mootha, MD, of Harvard University are lead researchers for the grant projects. Dr. Rosen's study Humanized Mouse Models of Type 2 Diabetes will focus on whether mouse models with human diabetes genes will have beneficial effects on glucose control. Dr. Mootha's project Cellular Models of Human Type 2 Diabetes Genes will study whether markers can be established to monitor therapeutic responses. This grant will expand on the foundation that the first Pinnacle Program Project, Systematic identification of pathways contributing to diabetes and obesity, set forth.

Research from the Foundation's initial grant led to the discovery of five new genes associated with type 2 diabetes, as well as one for obesity and one for triglyceride levels (a component of blood cholesterol). The discoveries were found with the use of a new and powerful approach to diabetes research developed based on contributions by the group, whole genome association studies (WGAS).

"The discoveries of these researchers have contributed greatly to our knowledge of genes influencing diabetes and to a lesser extent obesity," commented Cathy Bernstein, Chair, ADA Research Foundation. "The novel genes identified by this approach were completely unexpected from previous knowledge, and have op
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SOURCE American Diabetes Association
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