Diabetes

Translating an exercise program for adults at high risk for type 2 diabetes to the community

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a chronic disease with serious health implications (e.g., cardiovascular disease) that can be prevented with lifestyle changes. Lifestyle-based interventions are particularly needed in the community to help reduce the incidence of chronic disease in Canadian adults, and are critical for preventing T2D. 

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2017
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Protecting insulin-producing beta cell transplants from death and dysfunction

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases among adults, children and youth. In 2008/09, the Canadian Chronic Disease Surveillance System reported 2,359,252 cases of diagnosed diabetes in Canada and a prevalence of 5.4% in British Columbia. Rates of type 1 diabetes (T1D) among children and youth have been on the rise globally. Poor control of diabetes leads to various complications such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, blindness and renal failure, resulting in a shorter and a reduced quality of life. 

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Year: 
2017
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Identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying sex differences in fat storage using Drosophila as a model

In Canada, metabolic diseases (e.g. cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity) are leading causes of death, disability, and hospitalization. Currently, more than 10 million Canadians suffer from metabolic disease, with direct and indirect costs to the economy estimated to be $20 billion each year. Approximately 40% more men than women suffer from metabolic disease. In addition, commonly prescribed drugs used to prevent and treat metabolic disease are more effective in one sex than the other (e.g. fenofibrates).

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Year: 
2017
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Uncovering novel regulators of beta cell genesis, growth and function

To date, the only successful approach for curing type 1 diabetes is to replace the insulin-producing beta cells that have been destroyed by the disease. Pancreas- and islet-cell transplantation are promising therapeutic strategies; however, scarcity of transplantable tissue has limited their widespread use. One way to produce enough beta cells to cure type 1 diabetes is to determine how the cells develop normally within the embryo and apply this knowledge to the regeneration of beta cells in the culture dish or directly in people with diabetes.

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2012
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Investigating the structure and function of the PIKK family of protein kinase

Many major chronic diseases, including cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders, are caused by perturbations in the internal communication network of the cells within the body. Signaling molecules, which are an important part of the intracellular communication network, coordinate different processes by relaying signals to switch on or off the proper sets of cellular machineries at the appropriate time. By understanding how these signaling molecules work, scientists hope to understand the molecular basis of different diseases and how to treat and prevent these diseases.

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2011

Mechanisms of impaired functional recovery in diabetic mice following stroke

Diabetics are two to four times more likely than non-diabetics to suffer a stroke during their lifetime, and their prognosis for recovery from stroke is poor. Diabetes is known to negatively affect blood vessels throughout the body, including the eye, heart, kidney, and limbs, leading to a heightened risk of stroke in diabetics. Poor circulation and peripheral nerve damage can lead to blindness, hearing loss, foot injury and amputation. High blood pressure is common in diabetics and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

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Year: 
2011
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ATP-sensitive potassium channels: electrical signaling of cellular metabolism

Many types of rare inherited genetic disorders profoundly affect children and their families. While disorders like Anderson syndrome, Bartter's syndrome, and DEND (Diabetes with Epilepsy and Neuromuscular Defects) affect different organ systems and manifest with different symptoms, these diseases are all caused by genetic mutations in the KIR family of proteins. Mutations in KIR proteins can also be involved in less severe symptoms, including cardiac arrhythmias and vascular defects. The KIR proteins are a family of ion channels known as inwardly rectifying potassium channels.

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Year: 
2011

Understanding the mechanisms of experience and injury based cortical plasticity

Strokes are caused by the interruption of blood flow or the rupture of blood vessels to the brain. This sudden loss of brain function can damage the brain centers that sense or move parts our body, profoundly impacting both physical and mental functions. As a result, stroke is the number one cause of acquired disability in adults around the world. Some stroke survivors are able to recover more quickly and more completely than others.

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2011

Identification of a novel obesity gene

The prevalence of obesity is increasing dramatically, and is occuring at an increasing rate among children. Obesity is a major risk factor for numerous diseases including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, arthritis, and some forms of cancer. Inherited factors strongly affect an individual’s risk for becoming obese, especially in an environment with little exercise and diets high in fat and sugar. However, many of these genetic factors are not yet known.

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2008
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Centre for Human Islet Transplant and Beta Cell Regeneration

The Centre for Human Islet Transplant and Beta-Cell Regeneration (CHITBR) supports scientists and clinicians from nine different disciplines—from bench to bedside—to conduct research addressing the main limitations of beta-cell transplant.

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Year: 
2006
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Childhood Diabetes Research Unit

More than 1,000 children in BC have Type 1 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes, which typically has been regarded as the adult form of the disease, is on the rise in children. Researchers in this unit are investigating new ways to predict, prevent and treat diabetes in children, with the ultimate goal of finding a cure.

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Year: 
2004
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