The goal of this proposal is to foster the scientific development of Kathleen Page in order for her to become an independent clinical investigator. Her long-term goal is to develop an independent career as a clinical investigator in the field of diabetes and metabolism. She joined the Endocrine Division at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine last year after completing her internal medicine residency and endocrine fellowship training at the Yale School of Medicine. During her endocrinology fellowship, she initiated her research career in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Sherwin, a world leader in translational studies on the role of the brain in the regulation of glucose metabolism. With her move to USC, she is now presented with the unique opportunity of working with Thomas Buchanan, one of the world's leading authorities in type 2 diabetes, serving as her primary mentor for this work. Dr. Buchanan and his colleagues have performed seminal studies in the field of gestational diabetes which is most relevant to Dr. Page's current research proposal that is designed to study the risk of developing obesity and type 2 diabetes in the offspring of mothers with gestational diabetes. The central theme of her research proposal is directed at determining the potential importance to the intrauterine exposure to gestational diabetes to the subsequent development of obesity and/or type 2 diabetes in childhood or later as an adult. This study not only represents an intriguing research question but also provides a very plausible explanation for our recent epidemic of type 2 diabetes occurring in children and young adults. This problem is especially prevalent in the Hispanic-American community, which will serve as the focus of her study population. These studies will not only provide important information about mechanisms and the underlying risk for developing type 2 diabetes but may also lead to development of better designed strategies to prevent this disease. USC is an institution ideally situated for her interest in pursuing translational human based diabetes and obesity research. She has selected a mentoring team that includes experts in the fields of gestational diabetes (Dr. Thomas Buchanan), pediatric obesity and diabetes (Dr. Michael Goran), and pathophysiology of glucose regulation (Dr. Richard Bergman). She will also benefit from the support and resources provided by the NIH supported Clinical Translational Science Institute at USC. As part of her career development plan she will pursue the USC Masters in Clinical and Biomedical Investigation program. This program combines formal didactic and co-curricular education with mentored practical research leading to the Masters Degree. Completion of this program with provide Dr. Page with the formal training in clinical and translational research that she requires for success. The research and career development plan outlined in this proposal will prepare Dr. Page for an independent career in clinical translational research dedicated to improving our understanding of the pathogenesis of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The results of these studies will provide unique information about the impact of intrauterine exposure to gestational diabetes on critical factors involved in the development of type 2 diabetes in Hispanic youth. This information could lead to prevention and early treatment strategies to curtail the vicious cycle of increasing childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes in a very high-risk population.
|Page, Kathleen A; Romero, Ana; Buchanan, Thomas A et al. (2014) Gestational diabetes mellitus, maternal obesity, and adiposity in offspring. J Pediatr 164:807-10|