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Tuesday March 20, 2012

Awards for new diabetes research

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Five University of Adelaide researchers have won funding for new research projects that aim to make a difference in the fight against one of Australia's biggest health problems: diabetes.

The University is tonight hosting the annual Diabetes Australia Research Trust (DART) Awards at the National Wine Centre, Adelaide.

The 2012 DART awards will see more than $2.8 million in diabetes research grants presented to academics from across Australia. University of Adelaide researchers have won five of these grants, totalling more than $362,000.

The winning research projects will delve into critical issues relating to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, with the outcomes of this work potentially affecting millions of Australians who suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetes:

If their mothers are obese or have diabetes, developing babies can be exposed to excess nutrients before birth. This project aims to discover how the babies' DNA blueprint can change under these conditions, and what consequences such DNA changes can have for the child's ability to control blood glucose.

Cardiovascular disease is the most common serious health complication in people with type 1 diabetes. Metformin is a medication that substantially improves blood vessel health in people with type 2 diabetes; however, there have been no studies of Metformin's benefits on blood vessels in people with type 1 diabetes.

Preliminary data shows that hyperbaric oxygen therapy rapidly increases insulin sensitivity. In a world first, this study will quantify the effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on insulin sensitivity in a non-patient population of obese people with and without type 2 diabetes, as well as in lean, age-matched, healthy people.

Research has recently identified a potential novel regulator for glucose uptake in response to insulin. By inhibiting the action of this molecule, it is possible to increase the glucose uptake potential of fat cells, thereby improving glucose clearance from the blood.

Interventions during pregnancy that can modify a woman's risk (and that of her infant) of subsequently developing obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are of enormous significance as a public health initiative.

Source: The University Of Adelaide

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