Faculty at the UW Diabetes InstituteDiabetes Research Center and Nutrition Obesity Research Center study diabetes and obesity from both a basic and translational research approach.

Recent advancements:

Role of the brain in regulating blood glucose and obesity

Dr. Michael Schwartz, professor (Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition) has received a $3.1 million grant from Novo Nordisk to collaborate on exploring the role of the brain in regulating blood glucose and obesity.

The collaboration aims to understand factors mediating brain control of blood glucose and appetite with the ultimate goal of developing new therapeutic agents for the treatment of diabetes and obesity. Researchers will conduct a research program on the effect of known hormonal factors working in the brain to regulate whole body glucose metabolism and appetite.

The research will be conducted over the next three years, at UW Medicine’s South Lake Union research campus in Seattle, Washington and at Novo Nordisk’s research facilities in Måløv, Denmark

Cardiovascular disease and diabetes

The Cardiovascular Disease and Diabetes Program Project was recently renewed for five years, receiving a total of $11.8 million from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The focus of the program project is to investigate whether diabetes causes high-density lipoprotein to lose its cardioprotective effects and whether this contributes to the increased cardiovascular disease risk associated with diabetes.

Obesity and arterial metabolism

Dr. Karin Bornfeldt, professor (Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition), has been awarded a new R01 from the NIH/NHLBI for her project: “Obesity and Arterial Metabolism.” The overall hypothesis is that expression of the glucose transporter GLUT1 is of critical importance for the obesity-induced arterial metabolic signature, smooth muscle cell phenotype, and obesity-accelerated atherosclerosis.