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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Whether you are newly diagnosed or simply in need of more information to manage your diabetes, the UCSF Diabetes Teaching Center (DTC) can help. As one of the country’s oldest diabetes education programs, the DTC offers classes for individuals with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes management is a lifestyle, and while we understand it is not a lifestyle that you would have chosen, it is one that you can master to stay healthy.
Diabetes Center researcher Allison Xu, PhD, is focused on understanding how the central nervous system regulates body weight and glucose levels. She studies how body weight is dependent on the brain sensing and responding to changes in energy stores in the body. Her exciting research often focuses on the hormone leptin and how it works in a critically important organ of the body, the liver.
The UCSF Pancreatic Islet Transplantation Program led by Andrew Posselt, MD, PhD, continues to be very active and, most importantly, very cutting edge. Not only does Dr. Posselt and his team efficiently and effectively harvest islets through their state-of-the-art islet isolation process, they are using new enzymes to ensure islet viability throughout the transplant process.
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 Stephen 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.