November 2011 eUpdate
Diabetes Panel Discussion Featured at Bay Area Science Festival
Faculty members involved in the UCSF Diabetes Center participated in a Bay Area Science Festival event, "Diabetes: The State of the Epidemic.”
Nearly a century has passed since the discovery of injectable insulin in the 1920s turned the tide on diabetes, helping to save countless lives. Today, even as research into the disease proceeds apace, the diabetes epidemic continues to grow. In California alone, an estimated 4 million people (one out of every seven adults) have diabetes, and the disease costs the U.S. health care system more than $200 billion annually.
What solutions can modern laboratory and clinical research provide? How close are we to finding new ways to prevent, treat, better manage, or even cure the disease? How can public health approaches address the epidemic?
This highly acclaimed presentation featured four of our UCSF diabetes faculty and may be viewed at http://lecture.ucsf.edu/special-events/diabetes2011/.
Faculty participants included: Matthias Hebrok, PhD, UCSF Diabetes Center Director; Jeffrey Bluestone, PhD , UCSF Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost; Stephen Gitelman, MD, Director of the UCSF Pediatric Diabetes Program; Dean Schillinger, MD , Chief, SFGH Division of General Internal Medicine, Director, Health Communication Program, UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations, and Chief, CA Diabetes Program, California Department of Health. [Bay Area Science Festival Story]
Research Breakthrough: Mesenchyme in Pancreas Development Key to Generating Beta Cells
The research group of Diabetes Center Director Matthias Hebrok, PhD, and collaborators at Texas A&M University, discovered that mesenchymal fetal tissue plays a fundamental role in the formation of insulin-producing beta cells. In lab animals, they found that the mesenchyme secretes chemicals that multiply and expand cells that are slated to become both hormone producing cells and beta cells. When this tissue is removed, even late in development, these embryos do not grow their full complement of beta cells.
For a number of years, Dr. Hebrok and his colleagues have been studying the mesenchyme, a loose collection of cells in the embryo that surrounds the developing pancreas and eventually forms much of the body’s connective tissue. To understand the role that the mesenchyme plays in pancreas development, they learned how to manipulate this tissue and make it disappear at various stages. This allowed the team to take snapshots of the mesenchyme’s role in development.
Recently published in the journal PLoS Biology, this important discovery suggests that by identifying these mesenchymal signals, novel approaches may be created to help generate new, functional beta cells for replacement in the body. It may also lead to new ways to keep mature cells alive in adults. [UCSF News Office Story]
Transformational Gift Received to Create New Madison Clinic for Pediatric Diabetes
In recognition of UCSF pediatrician and diabetologist Dr. Saleh Adi and his vision, passion and extraordinary skills in helping children with diabetes, an anonymous couple has made a transformational $10 million gift to help launch and operate the “best pediatric diabetes clinic on the west coast.”
Through the generosity of these donors, the new Madison Clinic for Pediatric Diabetes at UCSF will significantly expand the capacity of our pediatric diabetes clinical program. For the first time, it will bring together under one roof the dedicated services of physicians, clinical psychologists, nurses, diabetes educators, social workers, dietitians, and administrative staff to achieve one goal: to provide the best possible care and support to children and young adults with diabetes and their families.
An expanded team of clinical faculty and staff will provide individualized and comprehensive care to patients -- in a dedicated new space. Clinic sessions will be expanded, Monday through Friday. Our administrative staff will also increase in size to provide personal attention to each family, assist patients in navigating the system to gain direct access to clinicians, and obtain all the supplies and resources our families may need. We will also be developing a broad education curriculum for patients, families and all caregivers, including school teachers and coaches, and facilitate the challenging transition from childhood to adulthood. Lastly, we will establish satellite clinics in outlying communities throughout Northern California, and an advanced telemedicine system to reach patients in the neighboring states and eventually in remote third world countries. [Madison Clinic] [UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Newsletter Story]
New Mobile App Launched By Diabetes Teaching Center and QuantiaMD, Offers Patients $100
True or False: Ketones only affect people with type 1 diabetes. If you can answer this question, you could win $100 when you download and play DiabetesIQ. Dr. Martha Nolte Kennedy and her team at the Diabetes Teaching Center have launched this FREE mobile application that lets patients explore their knowledge of diabetes. Users take quizzes that provide extensive feedback, solve visual puzzles, progress through multiple game levels and compare results with other contestants.
“Education is a fundamental part of diabetes therapy,” said Dr. Nolte Kennedy, Medical Director of the Diabetes Teaching Center. To show support for patients during Diabetes Awareness Month, QuantiaMD, who created the application with UCSF, is holding a drawing for every user that downloads the app and completes all quizzes through Level 2. Ten $100 prizes will be given away.
Download our new app today. Diabetes IQ works with iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch devices running iOS 4.0 or later, or Google Android 1.6 and higher - and is available on the Apple iTunes store and Google Android market.
For more information on this new, innovative resource for diabetes management, read this UCSF News Office Story.
IN THE NEWS
Diabetes Public Health: UCSF Study Highlights Need for Better Guidelines - Survey shows that national guidelines focus on diabetes management in individuals and are not specifically adapted to different populations
HealthWatch: Doctors Warming to Caveman Diet Trend - CBS San Francisco - 5 Part Series - Story features UCSF nephrologist Lynda Frassetto, MD, and pediatric endocrinologist Robert Lustig,MD (both featured in Part 2)
Diabetes Awareness Month and World Diabetes Day Activities
Each year, California has more new cases of diabetes than any other state in the nation. Of the 4 million Californians with diabetes (1 in 7 adults), approximately 1.4 million are undiagnosed and unaware they have the disease. Additionally, it is estimated that 11.1 million Californians have prediabetes, a condition that increases risk for developing type 2 diabetes within 10 years. We encourage you and your loved ones to learn your risk for diabetes by taking the ADA Diabetes Risk Test and improving your diabetes management by taking the Big Blue Test.
During the month of November, diabetes awareness events are being held throughout the world to provide diabetes prevention and education materials. We are fortunate that a number of these events are in the Bay Area:
Saturday, November 12:
Dance Out Diabetes – Russian Center, San Francisco, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Join the revolution using dance to prevent and manage diabetes. The event is for people of all ages and abilities, all types of diabetes, and friends and family. www.danceoutdiabetes.org
Sunday, November 13:
Creating Community Connections - College of Marin, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. This third annual celebration features free health screenings, multi-lingual information, educational performances, giveaways, nutritious food, Yoga and Zumba workshops and more. The event culminates with the lighting of the internationally recognized Frank Lloyd Wright Civic Center spire in diabetes blue. www.diabetesdaybayarea.org
WORLD DIABETES DAY - Monday, November 14:
5th Annual San Francisco World Diabetes Day – San Francisco Union Square, 5 p.m. UCSF is partnering with numerous diabetes community organizations for San Francisco’s World Diabetes Day celebration. Buildings in Union Square will be lit blue and free ice skating will be offered to the first 100 people to arrive. Additionally, San Francisco hopes to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the most hula hoopers – a Flash Mob of 114 hoopers is expected. UCSF will be offering TrialNet screening to relatives of those with type 1 diabetes. www.jdrftalk.org
Healthy Harvests Event in Honor of World Diabetes Day and Native American Heritage Month – David Brower Center, Berkeley, 6 – 9 p.m. Sponsored by Seva Foundation and UC Berkeley School of Public Health. www.seva.org/healthyharvests
DIABETES CENTER NEWS
UCSF Diabetes Leader Remembered
It is with great sadness that we announce that our friend and colleague, John Baxter, MD, passed away on October 5th. Prior to his move to Methodist Hospital in Houston, John had been a member of the UCSF faculty for more than 30 years. He was the former Chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism and Director of the Metabolic Research Unit, the forerunner of the present Diabetes Center. Among his most recognized achievements are the first cloning of several genes, including the growth hormone gene, and bacterial synthesis of several hormones, including human growth hormone. He received numerous academic honors throughout his career and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine. He served with distinction as President of the Endocrine Society and received that organization’s highest honor, the Koch Award. Our thoughts and prayers are with John’s wife and daughters. [Endocrine Society Story]
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: 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: 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: 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 years 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.
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