Three diabetes-related research projects at the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota land more than $1.8 million in state funds in a research initiative to prevent, treat and cure diabetes.
The Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology & Medical Genomics’ Decade of Discovery’s $1.86 million grant will fund the creation of anti-obesity drugs, explore immune-based diabetes treatments and advance the development of an artificial pancreas.
"The goal of the ‘Decade of Discovery’ is to conquer diabetes and these projects, developed by collaborative teams of outstanding scientists from the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic, will go a long way towards doing that," Elizabeth Seaquist, Decade co-leader, said in prepared remarks.
Nearly half of the funds are headed to a research project focused on developing an anti-obesity drug. Project leaders Alessandro Bartolomucci, of the University of Minnesota, and Mayo Clinic endocrinologist John Miles will use the $875,000 to develop a drug based on a peptide shown to prevent obesity in mice and increase fat decomposition.
The team working on a specialized glucose monitoring chip for the Mayo Clinic’s artificial pancreas won $500,000 from the Decade of Discovery grant.
The graphene chip will function wirelessly and last longer than other sensors, making it more reliable, stable and accurate than other sensors on the market, according to the Mayo clinic.
The third team won $486,368 to study Type I diabetes in transgenic mouse models.
"Using the resources from the Minnesota Partnership, we expect to see major advances in both diabetes treatment and prevention as a result of this work," said Seaquist.
A research team from Worcester Polytechnic Institute won a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a smart phone app for people with advanced diabetes.
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