Oklahoma is one of the states in the US with the highest prevalence of diabetes, with 10% of the population affected. Diabetes is particularly prevalent among Native American communities, where it affects up to 40% of older individuals in some tribes. Thus, diabetes and its complications constitute a major threat to the working- age and older population, and confer an immense social and economic burden on Oklahoma. The goal of this COBRE is to enhance diabetes research in Oklahoma. In Phase I and Phase II, our COBRE achieved its milestones. All of the COBRE-supported Junior Investigators have received independent grants, including eight NIH R01 grants, two R21 grants, and multiple grants from foundations such as the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association. Five of our Junior Investigators have been promoted to Associate Professor, and three of them have received tenure thus far. In addition, because of their success in research, two of them received endowed chair positions. Between them, the Junior Investigators have published 207 peer-reviewed papers, 135 of which received support from COBRE-funded Cores. In collaboration with the College of Medicine, the COBRE has recruited three NIH R01-funded and 1 K99/R00-funded diabetes researchers into The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center (OUHSC). The COBRE-funded Cores have provided support and service to multiple PIs and supported their publications and NIH-funded grants, which enhanced diabetes research in Oklahoma. In Phase III of the COBRE program, we plan to sustain and augment these successes. We will continue supporting and mentoring Junior Investigators who graduated from the COBRE. We will expand and improve Core facilities to serve diabetes research in Oklahoma and complete transition of the COBRE-funded facilities into institutional research Cores. We will further increase the critical mass of diabetes research in Oklahoma by promoting recruitment of diabetes researchers into OUHSC. Moreover, we will continue promoting collaborative and translational research. These efforts should contribute to continuous growth of diabetes research to achieve our goal of becoming a NIH P30-funded Diabetes Research Center (DRC). This Center should greatly improve prevention and treatment of diabetes.

Public Health Relevance

Diabetes research is a strategic research area at OUHSC. This COBRE is to mentor junior diabetes researcher and improve infrastructure of diabetes research in Oklahoma. These COBRE efforts will greatly enhance diabetes research. These researches will lead to improved prevention and treatment of diabetes, benefiting diabetic patients.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Center Core Grants (P30)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1)
Program Officer
Mcguirl, Michele
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University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Oklahoma City
United States
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