This proposal will continue the progress of the DRTC, first established at UAB in 2008, and the transition to a DRC. The immediate goal of the center is to promote excellence in diabetes research. Over the past 4 years, the DRC has galvanized the UAB research community around the study of diabetes resulting in an increase in membership from 115 to 159, and a 32.5% increase in extramural research funding. Through these efforts, the center ultimately endeavors to decrease diabetes morbidity/mortality, and to provide an outstanding environment for training and career development in diabetes research.
Our specific aims are to: 1. Facilitate and enhance diabetes research by sponsoring research core facilities expressly required by our investigator base. The five research cores cover a broad translational spectrum: Bioanalytical REDOX Biology, Islet Cell Biology, Animal Physiology, Human Biology, and Interventions &Translation Cores. 2. Augment diabetes research via a pilot &feasibility grant program that will emphasize innovation, translation, and career development of highly promising junior investigators. 3. Sponsor an integrated Enrichment Program that promotes a cohesive environment for an outstanding multi-disciplinary investigator base, which will enhance learning, collaboration, collegiality, and innovation. 4. Build upon the progress achieved over our first 4 years by responding to the evolving needs of our investigators and through leadership that impels new ideas and lines of investigation. 5. Emphasize research, training, and outreach that are responsive to the needs of our trainees, achieve better outcomes for our patients, and lessen the high burden of diabetes in our community and nation. 6. Leverage the resolve of UAB leadership, substantial institutional commitments, and generous philanthropy from our community to further impel the development of a pre-eminent center of diabetes research excellence in the heart of the Deep South. Our DRC is located in a community with the highest rates of diabetes in the US, and unites investigators around common themes to study diabetes in the context of cardiometabolic disease.
The UAB DRC is the only NIDDK diabetes center located in the Deep South, at the 'Diabetes Belt'epicenter characterized by the highest rates of diabetes in the US. The Center has developed a comprehensive strategy for new discoveries and a strong environment for training the next generation of research leaders. Thus, the UAB DRC endeavors to lessen the burden of patient suffering and high social costs of diabetes.
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