May 2012 eUpdate
Increase Brown Fat, Burn More Calories?
A new faculty member of the Diabetes Center, Shingo Kajimura, PhD, has discovered how to reengineer ordinary white fat into brown fat to help the body burn more calories and lose weight.
It is believed that brown fat evolved in man as a protection from the cold. Not only is the amount of brown fat in the body inversely proportional to the likelihood of obesity, we now know that the human body is capable of creating new brown fat cells throughout life.
In lab animals, Dr. Kajimura and his colleagues have discovered that a common class of drugs given to people with diabetes called PPAR-gamma ligands interact with the protein PDRM16, enabling the conversion of white fat cells to brown fat cells. This discovery could lead to the creation of new weight loss drugs in the future. [UCSF News Office Story] [Cell Metabolism]
New Scientific Resources Created to Expedite Research Progress
UCSF Diabetes Center researcher Michael McManus, PhD, and his colleagues at UCSF, the Gladstone Institute for Cardiovascular Disease, and Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, have created a new, publicly available resource that will help researchers understand the importance of certain genes in causing diabetes and other diseases. This resource consists of a library of gene-disrupting vectors that target and remove pieces of DNA that encode for microRNAs -- small bits of genetic material that regulate other genes. This new resource also includes new stem cell lines and new strains of animal models that are missing microRNAs. These tiny genes are thought to be important regulators of human disease. [UCSF News Office Story] [Cell Reports]
New Diabetes Center Partnership With Sanofi Launched
The Diabetes Center has created a new industry partnership with international pharmaceutical company, Sanofi. The goal of this alliance is to identify novel therapeutic targets for the creation of new diabetes drugs that will improve the lives of those battling both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
This pilot project will focus on beta cells and will operate under the oversight of an expert panel from UCSF and Sanofi. Three Diabetes Center faculty members are leading the effort including Diabetes Center director Matthias Hebrok, PhD, Michael McManus, PhD, and Michael German, MD. Together with Sanofi, the team will identify, assess and validate potential drug targets by using a UCSF library of roughly 100,000 small interference RNAs (siRNA) -- molecules that play a crucial role in turning on and off genes, including the gene that produces insulin. [UCSF News Office Story]
New Clinical Study for Longstanding Type 1 Diabetes to Evaluate Residual Beta Cell Function
A new study has been launched that seeks to evaluate differences in the immune systems of those who have had type 1 diabetes for five or more years and who still make some insulin, versus those with type 1 diabetes who do not make insulin. It will also establish a blood bank for future studies of type 1 diabetes.
- eight (8) years of age or older who have had type 1 diabetes for five or more years;
- have a hemoglobin A1c less than 9.5%.
Dr. Thomas is excited to be leading this clinical study since she knows what it is like to have longstanding type 1 diabetes -- her sister was diagnosed at two and has been living with the disease for 34 years. "The commitment that my sister has had to make to take care of herself on a daily basis never ceases to amaze me." Dr. Thomas completed her undergraduate training at Dartmouth, her medical degree at Emory University, and her medical internship and residency at Johns Hopkins. She joined UCSF in 2010.
More information on this study may be found on the clinical trials section of our website.
UCSF Leads Effort to Control Sugar Abuse
U.S. consumption of sugar has doubled in the past 30 years. Similarly, worldwide consumption of sugar has tripled during the past 50 years and has contributed to 35 million deaths annually from diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, even in developing countries. Leading experts from throughout UCSF have been making headlines with their urgent societal plea to reduce sugar consumption and ease the burden on public health.
Pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig, MD, public health policy sociologist Laura Schmidt, PhD, MSW, MPH, and pediatrics and health policy specialist Claire Brindis, DrPH, MPH, recently published in the journal Nature that sugar is a primary culprit in the worldwide health crisis and warrants societal intervention similar to that of alcohol. [Short Video] [UCSF News Office Story] Dr. Lustig was also featured on CBS 60 Minutes and ABC Good Morning America.
UCSF Center for Vulnerable Population's Kirsten Bibbins-Domingo, MD, PhD, and her colleagues also published an article suggesting that a tax on sweetened beverages would prevent nearly 100,000 cases of heart disease, 8,000 strokes, and 26,000 deaths over the next decade -- plus prevent 240,000 cases of diabetes per year. [UCSF News Office Story]
TrialNet's "Pathway to Prevention" Screens 100,000 Type 1 Relatives; Two New Prevention Trials in Progress
The national research program called Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet recently screened their 100,000th family member for autoantibodies as part of the Natural History Study, now known as the Pathway to Prevention. UCSF is proud to have been selected as one of the first TrialNet Clinical Centers just over a decade ago.
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.
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.
May 22nd TrialNet Screening Event at Mills-Peninsula Medical Center
ATTENTION adults with type 1 diabetes and their children!
ATTENTION parents, children with diabetes, siblings and other related family members including cousins!
Attend a TrialNet screening event on Tuesday, May 22, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m., at Mills-Peninsula Medical Center, 1501 Trousdale Drive, Burlingame.
Come join us for an interactive discussion on diabetes technology advances with two of the Bay Area's leading diabetes experts, Steve Gitelman, MD, and David Klonoff, MD, and find out how your family can participate in diabetes research today.
The entire family is welcome; kids activities will be held throughout the evening!
For more information, contact Kathleen Fraser, 415-353-9084.
New UCSF-HMO Translational Research Center Launched
The aim of a new NIH-funded Health Delivery Systems Center for Diabetes Translational Research is to actively foster and support translational research in type 2 diabetes within health care delivery systems affiliated with the HMO Research Network (HMORN), UCSF and the State of California's Diabetes Prevention and Control Program.
This Center, one of only seven across the country to be funded, addresses three core areas to improve diabetes care: health care disparities; diabetes and obesity prevention; and health information technology interventions. Four areas of focus for center members include: diabetes prevention; diabetes health IT; diabetes health disparities; and research support for the state's diabetes prevention and control program. For more information, contact UCSF principal investigator Dean Schillinger, MD.
Record Crowd for Diabetes Symposium & Kids Kamp
Our Diabetes Symposium & Kids Kamp held on Saturday, March 10th was a huge success with a capacity crowd of 650 in attendance. This educational program was held in cooperation with the Diabetic Youth Foundation and Mills-Peninsula Health Services.
If you missed the symposium, you can view key presentations on our Diabetes Center website. Additional educational materials that have been created by our pediatric and adult programs may also be found at these links:
UCSF Madison Clinic for Pediatric Diabetes: Pediatric Diabetes Teaching Materials
UCSF Adult Diabetes Teaching Center: Diabetes Education Online
DIABETES CENTER NEWS
Tour de Cure with TEAM UCSF
Join TEAM UCSF in participating in the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Tour de Cure scheduled for Sunday, May 6th in the Napa Valley. This cycling event raises money to fund diabetes research.
If you haven't already sponsored your favorite UCSF Diabetes Center team member, please find that person at our team site and donate to their fundraising effort!
For more information or to join TEAM UCSF, contact team captain Bruce Adams, 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 clinical trials recruitment coordinator Kathleen Fraser.
Type 1 Diabetes: TrialNet Natural History Study [Antibody Screening] Seeking relatives of people with type 1 diabetes, 1 to 45 years of age
Type 1 Diabetes: An Oral Insulin Preventative Study Seeking relatives of people with type 1 diabetes, 3 to 45 years of age
Type 1 Diabetes: Anti-CD3 mAB (Teplizumab) Preventative Study Seeking relatives of people with type 1 diabetes, 8 to 45 years of age
Type 1 Diabetes: Evaluation of Residual Beta Cell Function and Immunologic Features in Patients with Longstanding Type 1 Diabetes Seeking volunteers 8 years or older who have had type 1 diabetes for five or more years and have a hemoglobin A1c < 9.5%
Type 1 Diabetes: Efficacy of Islet After Kidney Transplantation Seeking volunteers 18-68 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 of age 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/ordesignate your donation to the program of your choice.