The overall goal of this proposal is to examine the effect of different degrees of insulin resistance on brain reward circuits in obese and normal-weight Hispanic children. Brain reward circuit activity will be determined using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in two groups of Hispanic children (aged 8 - 11 years) who provide a large range of insulin resistance. This proposal is a first step in testing the unifying hypothesis that peripheral insulin resistance is not only a consequence of obesity but in turn contributes to positive energy balance through a disruption of central food intake regulation. Furthermore, the research proposal is designed to provide important training to prepare me for an independent and inter-disciplinary research career. Dr. Adam's immediate career goals are to: 1) become an expert in the use of fMRI as well as analyze the collected data to help elucidate the central mechanisms of food intake regulation;2) expand knowledge on mechanisms of food intake regulation, obesity and type 2 diabetes to the pediatric population;3) become competent in research regarding brain anatomy and the different anatomical structures that are involved in reward processing;4) deepen knowledge about the mechanistic relationship between insulin sensitivity and obesity;and, 5) mentor undergraduate and graduate students in preparing them for careers in prevention and treatment of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes. The overall long-term career goal is to become an independent and inter-disciplinary investigator focused on the understanding of food intake regulation in childhood obesity. The specific training activities associated with this KO1 will involve: 1) direct mentorship from Dr.Michael Goran, Dr. Richard Bergman, Dr. Dianne Lattemann, Dr. Zhong-Lin Lu and Dr. Weigensberg;2) attending seminars and formal classes to be trained in the subject areas and methodological skills necessary to complete the study as well as in career development (eg neuroscience;fMRI methodology;biostatistics;grant writing);and 3) attend conferences to improve scientific expertise, create a professional network and provide exposure to present and discuss study findings.

Public Health Relevance

The proposed study will examine how insulin resistance may not only be a consequence of obesity but also a cause for overeating through a disruption of central food intake regulation. The results will substantiate the importance of insulin sensitivity as a primary target for obesity treatment and early age intervention for successful prevention of obesity.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research & Training (K01)
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Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases B Subcommittee (DDK)
Program Officer
Hyde, James F
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University of Southern California
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Los Angeles
United States
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