NIH Funds Diabetes Translation Research with $2.9 Million Grant

Dec. 9, 2016
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System a five-year, $2.9-million grant to launch a new center, one of only eight in the country, for diabetes translation research.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System a five-year, $2.9-million grant to launch a new center, one of only eight in the country, for diabetes translation research.

The center—the New York Regional Center for Diabetes Translation Research (NY Regional CDTR)—also includes faculty from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai and the New York Academy of Medicine and will serve as a collaborative hub for investigators conducting studies on pre-diabetes, diabetes and its complications.

The two principal investigators on the grant are Elizabeth A. Walker, Ph.D., R.N., professor of medicine and of epidemiology and population health at Einstein, and Judith Wylie-Rosett, Ed.D., R.D., professor and division head of health promotion and nutrition research in the department of epidemiology and population health, and Atran Foundation Chair in Social Medicine at Einstein.

Members of certain ethnic and racial groups—including Latinos/Hispanics, African-Americans and Asian-Americans—face a higher risk for developing diabetes than do non-Latino white adults. They are also at increased risk for diabetes-related complications, such as lower limb amputations, vision loss and kidney failure. In addition, diabetes is 70 percent more common in high-poverty neighborhoods than in more affluent ones. The regional research center will concentrate on improving diabetes prevention, care and diabetes self-management education among these groups through research activities, according to a press release.

“Our overall goal is to improve the health of people who have diabetes or are at risk for developing it, with a focus on low-income communities and various racial and ethnic groups that are disproportionately affected by the disease and poor access to care,” Wylie-Rosett said in a statement. “Einstein and Montefiore have a long-standing commitment to social justice, and this center provides a way for us to share our research expertise with others trying to reduce health disparities and promote health equity.”

“Our center will support and promote collaborative, innovative programs of research to tailor diabetes interventions for different ethnicities and age groups and to reduce obesity, a major risk factor for diabetes, and make the best use of electronic medical records and telecommunication—efforts aimed at prevention of diabetes and its complications,” Walker said.

Consultative resources within the NY Regional CDTR will support diabetes prevention and control research: across the lifespan; in population health and health systems; and for intervention research methods including biological, behavioral, psychological and social factors. The new center’s multidisciplinary members include 77 investigators doing research in diabetes prevention and control from 16 institutions including: Columbia University; Weill Cornell Medical College; Drexel University; University of Massachusetts Medical School at Worcester; New York University; Penn State University; San Diego State University; Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute; Stanford University; Tufts University; University of California at Irvine; and University of Illinois at Chicago.

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