The prevalence of diabetes in Oklahoma is higher than in most other states and thus, diabetes constitutes a major threat to the working-age and older population and confers an immense social and economic burden on Oklahoma. The goal of this COBRE is to enhance diabetes research in Oklahoma. In the past four years of the COBRE project, three junior investigators supported by the COBRE have successfully obtained NIH R01 grants as PI, and two others have obtained independent grants from the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association. Two of our junior investigators have been recently promoted to Associate Professor. Between them, the COBRE-funded junior investigators have published 104 papers. All of the junior investigators who graduated from the COBRE remain in Oklahoma and will continue to participate actively in our COBRE. In collaboration with the Department of Geriatric Medicine, the COBRE has recently recruited another junior diabetes researcher to Oklahoma. The COBRE has also established four core facilities, which have provided support and service to our diabetes research community. These successes have greatly contributed to the growth and productivity of diabetes research in Oklahoma. In Phase II of our COBRE program, we plan to sustain and augment these successes, with the following objectives: 1) To continue mentoring promising junior investigators (PJI) and early career investigators (ECI) in diabetes research in Oklahoma by providing funding, mentoring and essential core facilities. 2) To continue to recruit diabetes researchers to Oklahoma. The COBRE plans to recruit at least three new diabetes researchers to Oklahoma in next five years in collaboration with the University and the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center. 3) To consolidate and improve our core facilities to serve diabetes research in Oklahoma. We will prepare the transition of the COBRE-funded Cores to institution-supported facilities after the completion of the COBRE funding. 4) To foster and promote collaboration among diabetes researchers across the state. 5) To enhance collaboration between clinicians and basic scientists and to promote translational research. The COBRE will provide training in translational research and access to diabetic patient sample for PJI and ECl.
Diabetes is developing into a pandemic of the 21st century. Its prevalence in Oklahoma is higher than in most other states, with 10% of the population affected. Diabetes represents a major threat to the health of the working population, and constitutes an immense social and economic burden in Oklahoma. This program is to train and recruit more diabetes researchers in Oklahoma and enhance diabetes research.
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