Grant awarded to two researchers to study the role of GLP-1 in people at risk for or with diabetes

The American Diabetes Association Research Foundation has selected two scientists, University of Virginia Health System researcher Zhenqi Liu, MD, and Stanford University School of Medicine researcher Gerald Reaven, MD, to receive the American Diabetes Association-Novo Nordisk Clinical/Translational Research Award. This $1.2 million grant program supports efforts to study the effects of intestinal hormones, such as glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), on obesity and pre-diabetes, two risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

In receiving this award, each researcher will receive a $600,000 grant to study the role of GLP-1 in people at risk for or with diabetes. GLP-1 is a hormone secreted by L-cells located in the distal intestines that stimulates insulin secretion in a glucose-dependent fashion.

Dr. Liu's research will help to better understand the role of native GLP-1 in the progression of obesity, pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. The findings from this research could provide more insight into what biomarkers might be used to allow earlier intervention to prevent and/or treat obesity and/or pre-diabetes before type 2 diabetes develops.

Dr. Reaven's research will look beyond the direct effects of liraglutide, a GLP-1 analog, on glucose control and into areas such as weight control, satiety and the effects on cardiovascular risk factors such as triglycerides and blood pressure.

"Studying the role of GLP-1 and other incretin hormones in people with type 2 diabetes and those at risk holds much promise," commented Scott Campbell, PhD, American Diabetes Association Vice President of Research Programs. "Emerging science shows us that GLP-1 treatments can positively affect glucose metabolism and may increase beta-cell mass, two important elements that could some day lead to a cure for type 2 diabetes."

"Novo Nordisk's highest priority has always been the health and well being of people living with diabetes, and we strive to do everything we can to conduct and support research that will lead to the discovery of new, innovative treatments for people affected," says Nathaniel G. Clark, MD, MS, RD, Novo Nordisk's Senior Medical Advisor - Diabetes. "This is why, as part of our Changing Diabetes Leadership Initiative, we are truly pleased to support the American Diabetes Association in supporting studies investigating the full potential of this medication class in both those with and at risk for type 2 diabetes."

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