Diabetes Research Center 2012 Award Recipients

Paul Bollyky, M.D., Ph.D. (P&F Award)

Acting Assistant Professor

Allergy & Infectious Diseases

Hyaluronan and Islet Regeneration During Inflammation

"Dr. Bollyky is an Acting Assistant Professor in the UW Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. He is interested in how the extracellular matrix (ECM) influences immune regulation at sites of inflammation. In particular, he uses mouse models to study insulitis in autoimmune diabetes. His DRC award will fund research into the role of hyaluronan (HA), a prominent component of inflamed tissues, in islet homeostasis following streptozotocin-mediated injury."


Chongren Tang, M.D., Ph.D. (P&F Award)

Research Assistant Professor

Medicine/Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition

Mechanisms of ABCA1 in Diet-Induced Inflammation and Insulin Resistance

"Dr. Tang’s research focuses on understanding the cellular processes and mechanisms involved in the lipid export and the anti-inflammatory activities of the cholesterol transporter ATP-binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) and ABCG1. 

Since ABCA1 and ABCG1 are major factors that raise HDL levels and protect against CVD, another focus of Dr. Tang’s research has been to to identify biochemical processes that regulates their expression and activity. Specifically, Dr. Tang’s lab studies the roles and mechanisms of diabetes and diabetes-associated factors on the expression and function of ABCA1 and ABCG1 in vitro and in vivo.

Dr. Tang proposes to study the roles and mechanisms of macrophage ABCA1 on diet-induced macrophages inflammation and insulin resistance." 


Sakeneh Zraika, Ph.D. (P&F Award)

Research Assistant Professor

Medicine/Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition

Acute Regulation of Insulin and Glucagon Secretion by Neprilysin

"Dr. Zraika's overall goal is to enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms for normal pancreatic islet function. The novel islet protein, neprilysin, has been implicated in modulating ion flux across membranes in non-islet tissues. Given the significant contribution of calcium and potassium flux to islet hormone secretion, pilot studies will be performed to determine whether neprilysin facilitates insulin and glucagon secretion by modulating ion flux across beta- and alpha-cell membranes. Should these studies provide evidence that neprilysin is required for normal islet function, interventions to up- or down-regulate neprilysin could prove beneficial in treating islet dysfunction in type 2 diabetes."


Richard Palmiter, Ph.D. (Mentor)


Benjamin Whiddon (Stroum Fellowship Award)         

Graduate Student

Department of Genome Sciences

Uncovering the Roles of MCH Neurons in Regulating Glucose Homeostasis

"The purpose of this project is studying neurons that release the neurotransmitter melanin-concentrating hormone (MCH). In mice, such neurons help regulate blood glucose homeostasis. This project will explore how these neurons perform this function, with emphasis on identifying anatomical targets in the brain and critical neurotransmitters. By extending these investigations into mouse models of obesity, the goal is to uncover new targets for the prevention and treatment of human diabetes."




If the DRC has supported your research in any way, please support us by citing the DRC grant number P30DK017047 in the acknowledgment section of your publications.

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