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NHLBI Funds UNC Diabetes PGx Project

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers have won a $2.4 million grant to study genetic variations in diabetes patients in order to predict response to treatment and reduce cardiovascular disease, UNC said Monday.

Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the four-year study will be led by the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Sciences Institute, which is the academic home of the National Institutes of Health's Clinical and Translational Science Award at UNC.

The project is a genetics-focused follow-up to the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes trial, which was led by UNC and found that there was no additional improvement in cardiovascular events in patients who were treated with intensive diabetes, blood pressure, or lipid therapies.

"These failures of seemingly rational treatment approaches could be the result of differential response due to genetic variation," Michael Wagner, research professor in the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy and co-principal investigator of the study, said in a statement. "Our study is aimed at identifying the genetic variations that may be involved."

"We hope this work will enable us to target interventions to patients most likely to benefit and least likely to be harmed," said John Buse, co-PI on the study and director of UNC's Diabetes Care Center. "The genes containing these variants may also prove to be novel targets for drug development, leading to new medicines for improving outcomes for diabetic patients in the future."

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