Gestational diabetes is a common pregnancy complication. Although the precise underlying mechanism has yet to be identified, insulin resistance and inadequate insulin secretion to compensate for it play a central role in the pathophysiology of GDM. Excess adiposity is an important modifiable risk factor for the development of the condition. Mechanisms linking excess adiposity to elevated risk of GDM are not completely understood, but recent evidence points to the crucial role of specific hormones and cytokines (adipokines) secreted by the adipose tissue. The general goal of this project is to longitudinally collect biological specimens for research on the pathogenesis of GDM. Under this research theme, the specific aim of this project is to prospectively investigate novel biochemical markers, for instance, biomarkers involved in adipocyte cytokine secretion and metabolism in association with subsequent risk of GDM. The researchers will longitudinally collect multiple bio-specimens throughout pregnancy from more than 3,000 pregnant women enrolled in ongoing prospective studies of pregnant women. In the past year, I spent considerable amount of time working on the protocol development for maternal and cord blood sample collection, process, and the protocol development for post-partum follow-up and developed a comprehensive bio-chemical assay profiles that are going to be measured and analyzed using bio-specimens collected from this study. Moreover, we released a RFP to identify a laboratory to measure the assays. The laboratory was identified and the contract was awarded. We started working with the laboratory for pilot testing of assays.
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