Overall Focus: We propose a Comprehensive NCMHD Research Center of Excellence focused on obesity in Minority Youth. This center will focus on research, translation and training to improve minority health in Hispanic and African American youth, with a major focus on exploring innovative ways to identify, prevent and reduce minority health disparities related to obesity, especially type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This center is based on the principle that obesity and associated disease risk is apparent early in life, and therefore novel interventions early in life are essential public health strategies to reduce the burden of disease-risk into adulthood. Organization: The center, with broad support from the university and its affiliate, the Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, will be led by Michael I. Goran, PhD and Lourdes Baezconde-Garbanati, PhD, who between them have an impressive track record in minority health research. The Administrative Core will assume leadership on all programmatic and fiscal matters and provide shared resources for data management, subject recruitment, common assays, community translation, and training and mentoring. The Research Core will provide scientific leadership and integration across three synergistic RO1-type projects that share subjects (Hispanic and African American teenagers) and methods, and have both within and between project hypotheses. Project #1 (PI: D Spruijt-Metz) will examine the hypothesis that high sugar meals contribute to fat deposition through an abnormal hormonal milieu that promotes negative moods and low physical activity levels. Project #2 (PI: V Gilsanze) will use an array of advanced imaging techniques to examine the ectopic fat hypothesis in minority adolescents by assessment of various fat depots (subcutaneous, visceral, muscle, liver and pancreas) and intima media thickness across the cascade of disease progression in minority adolescents (lean -->healthy obese -->obese with pre-diabetes -->obese with type 2 diabetes). Project #3 (PI: C Roberts) will examine the hypothesis that resistance training is an """"""""effective"""""""" exercise intervention for improving insulin sensitivity, ectopic fat, and other risk factors for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in minority adolescents. Pilot Study #1 will examine gene expression profiles from various fat depots in obese Hispanic and African American adults undergoing surgical weight loss. Pilot Study #2 will translate the intervention in Project 3 for utility in a home environment. Summary &Significance. The center will support a nexus of health researchers dedicated to reducing obesity-related health disparities in minority youth. The center will provide new information and training that is scalable to community settings and unique programs that will elucidate the biological, behavioral and metabolic factors contributing to obesity and related disease-risk in Hispanic and African American children.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD)
Comprehensive Center (P60)
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Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZMD1-LW (07))
Program Officer
Castille, Dorothy M
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Fiscal Year
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University of Southern California
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Los Angeles
United States
Zip Code
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