Dr. Karin Bornfeldt is the recipient of a Pilot and Feasibility award from the NIDDK-sponsored Diabetic Complications Consortium. Her project, entitled Diabetes and miRNA, studies the role of microRNAs in monocyte and macrophage activation in diabetic mouse models. Dr. Bornfeldt is a Professor of Medicine in the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition.
Dr. Ian Sweet is the recipient of the 2013 Gail Patrick Innovation Award from the American Diabetes Association. In honor of Gail Patrick, the first National Chair of the ADA Board of Directors and legendary Motion Picture actress, this award is granted to Innovation award applications to the ADA that receive the highest priority score in a given year. Prestigious awardees receive $50,000 per year for two years to support an innovative idea that advances the Association’s efforts to prevent, treat and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by the disease. Dr. Sweet’s project entitled, “Role of cytochrome c translocation in insulin release”, will test whether the movement of cytochrome c is necessary and sufficient to stimulate insulin secretion in the face of elevated calcium signaling. Dr. Sweet is a Research Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition.
Dr. Joshua Thaler is the 2013 recipient of the Fialkow Award. The Fialkow Award is awarded annually to recognize the outstanding achievements of junior faculty in medicine in research, teaching, clinical work, and academic citizenship. The award honors the late UW Dean of Medicine and Chair of Medicine Dr. Philip Fialkow and his wife, the late Helen Fialkow. Dr. Thaler will formally receive the award and present his talk at Medicine Grand Rounds in the fall. Dr. Thaler is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition.
Dr. Joshua Thaler has been selected as the recipient of a 2013 Early Investigators Award by The Endocrine Society. The Early Investigators Awards provide monetary support to assist in the development of early career investigators and recognition of their accomplishments in endocrine research. Dr. Thaler’s research focus is the hypothalamic regulation of energy homeostasis and the alterations to this system during obesity pathogenesis. Dr. Thaler is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition.
Dr. Christiane Hampe, PhD, is the recipient of a 4-year research award from the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF). Her project, entitled “Depletion of autoreactive-B lymphocytes through anti-idiotypic antibodies coupled to cytotoxins: a new approach for the prevention of Type 1 Diabetes”, focuses on the hypotheses that autoantibody-specific anti-Id can be used as a tool in the development of a new therapy for prevention of T1D. Dr. Hampe is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition.
Dr. Christiane Hampe, PhD, has been awarded an NIH R01 for her project entitled “Islet Cell Membrane Antibodies in Diabetes”. The goals of this research are a) to investigate anti-idiotypic antibodies (anti-Id) directed against autoantibodies to glutamate decarboxylase (GAD65Ab) in human Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), and b) to develop anti-Id as a therapeutic tool for the elimination of GAD65-specific B lymphocytes. The results from this project will be crucial for the further development of a novel preventative therapy. Dr. Hampe is Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition.
Dr. Christiane Hampe, PhD, is the recipient of the 2011 Neufeld Memorial Prize for her project entitled “Depletion of autoreactive-B lymphocytes through anti-idiotypic antibodies coupled to cytotoxins: a new approach for the prevention of Type 1 Diabetes.” This award from the US-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) is given to the most outstanding and original new project in the health sciences. The grant is awarded annually and given to the investigators whose project is considered as the most outstanding and original. Dr. Hampe is Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition.
Dr. Gregory Morton has received a Novo Nordisk Diabetes Innovation Award for his proposal “Leptin, Glucagon and Diabetes.” His is one of the first such awards in the pharmaceutical firm’s new program, dedicated to supporting exploration of novel hypotheses in nonclinical diabetes and obesity research that can further the development of therapies. Dr. Morton will receive $500,000 over 2 years, beginning December 1. He describes his study: “Recent evidence suggests that induction of hyperleptinemia fully ameliorates hyperglycemia in a rodent model of type 1 diabetes, and our recent findings implicate the brain in this effect. We have shown that this leptin effect involves a novel, insulin-independent mechanism characterized by reduced rates of hepatic glucose production and increased rates of tissue glucose uptake and establishes that the brain has the capacity to normalize blood glucose levels in uDM. These observations are distinct from any previously described CNS leptin action and support the overarching goal of this proposal to delineate the neuronal circuits and peripheral mechanisms activated by leptin that mediate its anti-diabetic effects. We propose to identify the mechanism(s) whereby leptin deficiency stimulates glucagon secretion in uDM and to establish the extent to which suppression of hyperglucagonemia contributes to leptin-mediated reversal of hyperglycemia in this setting. These studies have the potential to identify and develop an approach to diabetes treatment that is both novel and effective.” Dr. Morton is a Research Associate Professor in the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology and Nutrition.
DOCE Director Michael W. Schwartz, MD (MTE) is senior author of a paper published in theJournal of Clinical Investigation that presents the first evidence of structural change in the brain in both rodents and humans associated with diet-induced obesity. DOCE researcher Dr. Josh Thaler, MD, PhD, (MTE), is the first author on the paper entitled ʽObesity Is Associated with Hypothalamic Injury in Rodents and Humansʼ which was published in the January 3rd issue. Other DOCE investigators co-authoring the paper are Stephan J. Guyenet, PhD (MTE), Gregory J. Morton, PhD (MTE), and Brent E. Wisse, MD (MTE).
Along with colleagues from the UW Departments of Medicine and Radiology as well as Yale University and the University of Cincinnati, the group studied the effect of high-fat diet consumption on the brain health of mice and rats. They found evidence of very early and lasting injury to a specific part of the hypothalamus, a brain area critically involved in the regulation of body weight. Similarly, analysis of brain MRIs from a group of healthy people with a wide range of body weights revealed signs of damage to the hypothalamus in the obese subjects. Together, these findings provide a potential explanation for the difficulty in achieving and maintaining weight loss once obesity has become established.
Dr. Jay Heinecke, MD, has been awarded an NIH/NHLBI R01 for his project entitled “Quantitative Assessment of HDL Function”. The goal of the research is to identify proteins that alter HDL’s function and are selectively enriched or depleted in subjects at risk for CVD. The long-term goal is to understand the factors that impair HDL’s ability to remove cholesterol and inhibit macrophage inflammation, which may have important implications for HDL therapeutics. Dr. Heinecke is a professor of medicine and a member of the Molecular and Cellular Biology Graduate Program. He holds the Karasinski Chair in Metabolic Research and is director of the DOM Mass Spectrometry Resource.