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Stimulus-funded research takes aim at obesity and type 2 diabetes

University biochemist David Bernlohr, Ph.D., received $563,286 in federal stimulus grants for two projects aimed at studying mechanisms in the body that promote obesity and type 2 diabetes.

One grant supports a study of lipid binding— looking at how fats move from the bloodstream into the body. The second supports studies of insulin resistance, a condition that is a precursor to type 2 diabetes.

Bernlohr, head of the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics will use the funding to hire a new scientist, buy equipment, and continue his research.

Another federal grant for $146,373 will support the Obesity Prevention Center and the work of University epidemiologist Robert Jeffery, Ph.D., in a 14-year study called Look AHEAD. That study evaluates the effects of an intensive weight-loss intervention on heart disease in obese people who have type 2 diabetes.

A total of 5,145 overweight volunteers and 18 centers around the country are participating. Volunteers are either enrolled in a diabetes support and education program or assigned to weight-loss groups that are increasing physical activity and following a restricted diet.

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