Virginia Tech Researchers Awarded $2 Million Grant to Explore Novel Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes and Obesity
A Team Focused on Innovation
A multidisciplinary team of Virginia Tech researchers has been awarded a significant grant of nearly $2 million from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a branch of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
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Grant received by Virginia Tech fuels their quest for groundbreaking therapies targeting both Type 2 diabetes and obesity, two major public health concerns impacting millions.
Combating a Widespread Epidemic
Type 2 diabetes, characterized by a dysregulation of blood sugar levels, afflicts over 38.4 million Americans, with an alarming 1.4 million new cases diagnosed annually, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Despite existing medications, the prevalence of this condition continues to climb, highlighting the crucial need for novel treatment approaches.
Harnessing the Power of Nature
Professor Dongmin Liu, a leading figure in human nutrition, foods, and exercise at Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, spearheads this research project. He guides a distinguished team of co-investigators from diverse fields, including:
- Within the School of Animal Sciences, Elizabeth Gilbert is a Professor.
- Mark Cline, Professor in the School of Neuroscience
- Jennifer Davis, Professor in the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
- Inyoung Kim, Professor of Statistics in the College of Science
- Richard Helm, Professor of Biochemistry
Unlocking the Potential of a Natural Compound
This dedicated team focuses on a promising derivative of secoiridoid, a natural compound found in several plants like olives.
Their research delves into its potential to revolutionize the management of both blood sugar and obesity, often precursors to Type 2 diabetes. Preliminary evidence suggests its efficacy in surpassing even metformin, the conventional first-line medication for lowering blood sugar in Type 2 diabetes patients.
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Unveiling the Mechanism and Paving the Path
Professor Liu expresses the team’s aspirations:
“Through this research, we hope to pave the way for innovative, safe, and improved therapies that tackle both obesity and diabetes.”
Their investigation aims to decipher the precise mechanism of action by which this natural compound exerts its beneficial metabolic effects.
Additionally, they will meticulously track its journey within the body, analyzing its absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion, ensuring its safety for potential future clinical trials.
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A Beacon of Hope
This research holds immense promise in revolutionizing the landscape of Type 2 diabetes and obesity treatment.
The collaborative efforts of this esteemed team at Virginia Tech, armed with the power of innovative scientific inquiry, offer a ray of hope for millions struggling with these widespread conditions.