August 2011 eUpdate
New Type 1 Prevention Studies Launched
For relatives of people with type 1 diabetes who are not yet diagnosed, but who are at risk for type 1 diabetes, there are now promising clinical trials available. UCSF Pediatric Diabetes Program director Steve Gitelman, MD, suggests that all family members take a simple blood test which screens for the presence of diabetes-related autoantibodies that may appear years before type 1 diabetes develops. This antibody screening is part of a national research program called Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet and is being conducted to help understand more about the development of this disease and to look at ways to delay or prevent it.
For those found to be at intermediate risk of developing diabetes (25 percent chance of getting diabetes in the next five years), there is a trial introducing oral insulin. For those found to be at high risk (greater than 50 percent chance of diabetes in the next five years), there is a trial utilizing the anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody. [UCSF News Office Story]
For more information on these studies or other clinical research being conducted at UCSF, contact Kathleen Fraser: 415-353-9084.
New Center for Type 2 Diabetes Translation
We are pleased to report that the National Institutes of Health awarded Northern California's Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research a Center for Diabetes Translation, with UCSF serving as a key collaborator. As one of seven centers nationwide, the focus will be on diabetes prevention, diabetes health technology and diabetes disparities.
Center director Julie Schmittdiel, PhD, will work closely with UCSF principal investigator, Dean Schillinger, MD, chief, UCSF Division of General Internal Medicine, San Francisco General Hospital and director, Health Communication Program, UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations A special feature of the proposal was the integration of UCSF's efforts with the statewide California Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, which is a California Department of Public Health program chaired by Dr. Schillinger.
Diabetes Teaching Center Recognized as Health Care Hero
The Diabetes Teaching Center was named a Technical Innovation Finalist in the San Francisco Business Times Health Care Heroes Awards. The award was presented in recognition of the Teaching Center’s innovation in creating Diabetes Education Online, www.deo.ucsf.edu
In this country alone, more than 26 million people have diabetes and 79 million more have pre-diabetes. According to Teaching Center medical director and website founder Martha Nolte Kennedy, MD, only 4,000 U.S. endocrinologists specialize in treating the disease. Unfortunately, very few individuals with diabetes can expect to see a diabetes specialist – but everyone with internet access may now receive education about diabetes – thanks to Diabetes Education Online.
Diabetes Education Online is a comprehensive diabetes self-management education program that covers the American Diabetes Association’s recommended topics and more. The website mirrors the successful teaching program presented to thousands of patients at UCSF over the last 30 years.
Congratulations to Dr. Nolte Kennedy and her team for this well-deserved recognition. Pictured above are Diabetes Teaching Center co-founder Peggy Huang and 2010 National Diabetes Educator of the Year Mary Sullivan who accepted the award on behalf of the Diabetes Teaching Center.
DIABETES CENTER NEWS
New Diabetes Family Fund Supports Clinical and Research Innovation, Reduction in Health Disparities
Thanks to the generous support of a member of our Diabetes Center’s Leadership Council, we’ve brought diabetes to the forefront at UCSF through the recently-created UCSF Diabetes Family Fund for Innovative Patient Care, Education and Scientific Discovery. This fund seeks to stimulate and support creative, collaborative and imaginative innovations and projects whose outcomes and discoveries are transformative.
The fund awards one to two years of support for projects that fall in one of three categories:
- Excellence in diabetes clinical care and diabetes management
- Reduction of health disparities in the prevention and treatment of diabetes in vulnerable, underserved and literacy-challenged patients
- Innovative and transformative diabetes research
More than 2,200 faculty members were eligible to apply for competitive, diabetes-related awards which foster creative and cross-discipline collaborations across the entire UCSF community. The response was phenomenal and the breadth and caliber of the grant proposals was impressive. In its first year of existence, eleven projects received support. These grants range from how to communicate better with literacy-challenged patients to discovering rare mutations of genes that contribute to type 1 diabetes.
With the aid of this funding, the UCSF Diabetes Center will continue its singular mission to bring lasting improvements in quality of life to individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. [UCSF News Office Story]
Expert in Fat Cell Development Recruited to Diabetes Center
A talented young researcher has joined our team to help tackle the growing epidemics of obesity, insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome. Shingo Kajimura, PhD, is an accomplished researcher in the regulation of fat cell development and the molecular networks involved in the development of obesity-linked diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Kajimura received his BS, MS, and PhD, at the University of Tokyo, and he participated in training programs at the University of Hawaii and the University of Michigan. After completing his PhD in 2006, he conducted his post-doctoral training at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Harvard Medical School.
Because adipose tissue, fat, serves as a central regulator of the body’s energy metabolism balance, obesity tends to be a major risk factor for metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Dr. Kajimura’s lab is focused on uncovering the molecular circuits that control fat cell development and function, specifically focusing on brown adipose tissue (BAT), which specializes in dispersing chemical energy in the form of heat. Since recent studies have shown the existence of significant deposits of active BAT in adult humans, Dr. Kajimura hopes to alter the amount and activity of BAT to provide novel therapeutic interventions to counteract obesity and its related disorders.
New Fellowship Created by Joseph and Vera Long Foundation
Thanks to the ongoing generosity of a very special family, the Joseph and Vera Long Foundation recently endowed the Vera M. Long Outstanding Diabetes Scientist Post-Doctoral Fellowship. The foundation stipulated that the fellowship recipient have an exceptional academic record, potential for scientific advancement and demonstrated interest in promoting the advancement of women in science.
Previously, the Vera M. Long Foundation created the Vera M. Long Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research, now held by Christian Vaisse, MD, PhD, of the Diabetes Center. The foundation also funded the Vera M. Long Foundation Gene Therapy Suite at the UCSF Islet and Cellular Transplantation Facility.
ATTENTION MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS: 2011 California Diabetes Summit - September 7-8, 2011, Long Beach
UCSF is a proud sponsor of the California Diabetes Summit , the only statewide public health conference that brings together California's preeminent diabetes prevention and control professionals, as well as leaders in policy, systems change, environmental approaches, health communications and health systems. Speakers include faculty members Dean Schillinger, MD, and Robert Lustig, MD. For more information, email email@example.com
IN THE NEWS
Trying to Prevent Type 1 Diabetes - Wall Street Journal - TrialNet is featured in this national story; UCSF is a TrialNet clinical center and is led by principal investigator Steve Gitelman, MD
Common Sleep Problem Raises Dementia Risk - New York Times - Diabetes related story featuring researcher in UCSF Department of Psychiatry
Sugar and Health - KQED Forum with Michael Krasny - Features UCSF pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig, MD
California science and math education needs a boost, says UCSF provost - SF Public Press - Features former Diabetes Center director and current executive vice chancellor and provost Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD
The Diabetes Center at UCSF is among the premier institutions for clinical trials of emerging therapies in diabetes. Numerous clinical trials in type 1 and 2 diabetes are now underway.
Interested in participating? A sample of our trials is listed below. For a list of all of our trials, visit the clinical trials section of our website, or contact Kathleen Fraser, our Clinical Trials Recruitment Coordinator.
Type 1 Diabetes: Treatment with Polyclonal Tregs Seeking volunteers newly diagnosed within 2 years, 18 to 35 years of age
Type 1 Diabetes: Inducing Remission in New Onset Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus with Alefacept (Amevive) Seeking volunteers newly diagnosed within 100 days, 12 to 35 years of age
Type 1 Diabetes: Treatment with Thymoglobulin + Neulasta Seeking volunteers newly diagnosed at least four months but not more than 2 years, 16 to 44 years of age
Type 1 Diabetes: Islet Transplantation Seeking volunteers 18 - 65 years of age
Type 1 Diabetes: Efficacy of Islet After Kidney Transplantation Seeking volunteers 18-65 years of age
Type 1 Diabetes: Peritransplant Deoxyspergualin in Islet Transplantation Seeking volunteers 18-65 years of age
Type 2 Diabetes: Diabetes Support Project (DSP) Seeking adults with type 2 diabetes, HbA1c of 7.5% or higher, can read and speak English, have a partner or spouse
Type 2 Diabetes: Paleolithic-Type Diets and Metabolic Control Seeking volunteers 18 years of age and older with type 2 diabetes
Bone Study for Postmenopausal Women With or Without Type 2 Diabetes Seeking volunteers between 50 and 75 years old
APS1 and Autoimmune Disease Seeking volunteers at least 6 weeks old who have either autoimmune disease, have evidence of autoimmunity, have a family member with autoimmunity, or do not have autoimmune disease (healthy volunteer control)
Diabetes Center at UCSF
If you wish to receive more information about the UCSF Diabetes Center’s clinical and research programs, or would like to financially support one or more of these efforts, please contact Suzanne Ritchie at 415-476-6334. You may also visit our donation webpage and/or designate your donation to the program of your choice.