This proposal is in response to NIDDK RFA-DK-06-014 and is entitled "Washington University Diabetes Research and Training Center (WU DRTC)". The overall goal is to support centralized resources, facilities, and expertise shared by diabetes investigators at Washington University Medical School (WUMS), to promote the discovery of fundamental mechanisms leading to the disease and its complications, and to translate this information into prevention, treatments, and cures. Currently in its 30th year of funding, the WU DRTC has a proud history of major contributions to diabetes research. Positive momentum has continued during the funding period of 2002-present with a 65% increase in new members, a similar increase in NIH funding for diabetes-related research, a vibrant Pilot and Feasibility Program (PFP), significant productivity in terms of total number of publications attributable to the DRTC Cores (872), and substantial changes in the Core facilities to make them more responsive to the needs of the users. In the next funding cycle we plan to continue to evolve so that the WU DRTC is responsive to the changing expectations of the diabetes research community. We are particularly sensitive to the need to demonstrate the relevance of our research advances to the needs of society and to translate basic laboratory advances to improvements in the care of diabetics. Most notable is the development of a major new collaboration with St. Louis University School of Public Health (SLU-SPH) initiated in the fall of 2005. The resources of this School of Public Health, which is the only such school in Missouri, when coupled with the strengths at WUMS in basic and clinical diabetes research, provides a potent partnership that promises to be able to continue to make significant advances in diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diabetes. In summary, the WU DRTC has now positioned itself to continue to meet the challenges of the current RFA by 1) increasing the DRTC user base along with a commensurate increase in diabetes-related research funding, 2) forming an alliance with SLU-SPH for expanding translational research and community outreach, 3) developing closer interaction with the WU CNRU for sharing of core resources and enrichment activities, 4) enhancing our presence in the important area of diabetic cardiovascular disease by improved interaction with the Center for Cardiovascular Research, 5) forming a partnership with the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences that will markedly enhance our members'opportunities to conduct human research, and 6) developing the WUMS-Barnes Jewish Diabetes Center, that provides state-of-the-art care of diabetic patients in our community. We believe that these new directions will result in 1) greater efficiency in utilizing enabling technologies by individual investigators;2) greater collaboration aimed at preclinical development of potential therapeutic strategies;and, 3) faster translation of initial discoveries into useful treatments for diabetes and related metabolic and endocrine disorders.
The specific aims proposed here are designed to accomplish these goals.
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