This proposal will establish a new Diabetes Research and Training Center (DRTC) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). The immediate goal of the center is to promote excellence in diabetes research. Through these efforts, the center ultimately endeavors to decrease morbidity/mortality and increase quality of life for our diabetes patients, and to provide an outstanding environment for student training and for faculty career development in diabetes research.
Our specific aims are to: 1. Facilitate and enhance diabetes research by establishing core technologies expressly required by our investigator base. These technologies will be effectively provided by three biomedical resource cores, Bioanalytical Redox Biology, Animal Physiology, and Human Biology Cores, and two Prevention &Control cores, the Metrics &Health Services Research and Community Engagement 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. Promote a cohesive intellectual environment for an outstanding multi-disciplinary investigator base, which will enhance learning, collaboration, collegiality, and innovation. 4. Develop and evaluate new models of diabetes patient care that incorporate multi-disciplinary health care teams to improve patient outcomes, provide venues for clinical training, and create laboratories for translational and health services delivery research. 5. Leverage the resolve of UAB leadership, substantial institutional commitments, and generous philanthropy from our community to impel the development of a pre-eminent center of diabetes research excellence in the heart of the deep south. A new DRTC will have a high impact for diabetes research at UAB for several reasons including (i) our patients who have the highest rates of diabetes in the US, (ii) the collaborative and nurturing environment afforded research centers at UAB, and, most importantly, (iii) an outstanding investigator base with diabetes research excellence in human physiology, animal physiology, free radical biology and oxidative stress, inflammation, vascular biology, health disparities, health services, and community based research. Diabetes is both a metabolic and vascular disease, and one strategy employed by the DRTC is to unite metabolic and vascular researchers around these common themes to achieve a better understanding of the mechanisms, prevention, and control of diabetes, diabetes complications, and cardiometabolic risk.
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