Chicago Consortium in Diabetes and Obesity Genetics

Type of Award: Catalyst
Date Awarded: July 2007
Award End Date: December 2008
Amount Awarded: $ 249,000.00
PI(s): Joseph Bass, MD, PhD, NU; Graeme I. Bell, PhD, UChicago; Nissim Hay, PhD, UIC;

Abstract: Over the past decade, an epidemic of obesity and diabetes has swept our nation and present estimates indicate that greater than one in three children born in 2007 will be affected with these disorders. Together, diabetes and obesity result in over 200,000 deaths annually and exert a devastating toll due to blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and stroke. In the Chicago area, research at Northwestern/ENH and the Universities of Chicago and Illinois has transformed our understanding of the underlying cause of disease, however the infrastructure needed to carry these advances to the next stage of development has not been realized. The present proposal, for a "Chicago Consortium in Diabetes and Obesity Genetics", seeks to capitalize on the expertise already in place in three major Chicago research institutions through the creation of an umbrella program to generate state-of-the-art disease models and application of novel analytic methods ("proteomic" and "array") that will ultimately translate into new treatments for patients with diabetes and obesity. The Consortium will focus on integration of three of the most conserved and ancient pathways involved in diabetes and obesity and consolidate efforts and resources to identify new targets for intervention that will provide a springboard for subsequent funding applications from the National Institutes of Health. The benefit of a strong preclinical Consortium will also have a cascade of positive effects within each University by opening future opportunities for collaborative studies in genetics and translational research and providing a pool of trainees committed to improving the health of individuals with these prevalent disorders.