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ASU's Biodesign Institute Wins $3.1M for Diabetes

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University has won a $3.1 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to discover and validate protein biomarkers that could be used in predictive tests for type 2 diabetes.

Scientists at Biodesign's Molecular Biomarkers Center will work with the Veterans Administration and conduct proteomics studies of samples from more than 700 patients with type 2 diabetes to discover molecular mechanisms that identify those with high risk for developing diabetes and a closely associated risk of heart disease, the institute said in a release published yesterday.

The researchers hope to use the five-year grant to develop biomarker based tests that would move type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease beyond the simple blood sugar measurement tests that are currently used.

"We have now developed all of the technologies and tools to construct a finely detailed molecular portrait of diabetes," lead investigator Randy Nelson, who directs the Molecular Biomarkers Center, said in a statement. "By studying the changes in both the amounts and structures of proteins related to diabetes, we can determine their unique contribution to the disease process."