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NIDDKD Awards $2.2M to City of Hope for Epigenetic Studies into Type 1 Diabetes

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – The City of Hope has been awarded a $2.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for research into how epigenetic factors may drive type 1 diabetes progression. 

Researchers led by Rama Natarajan, chair of the department of diabetes complications and metabolism within the Diabetes and Metabolism Institute, will use the grant to study how epigenetics can lead to inflammation and blood vessel damage in some type 1 diabetics. The award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases will help the scientists advance their understanding of how prior hypoglycemic episodes can result in the so-called "metabolic memory" of persistent vascular complications, even if glycemic levels have subsequently been controlled. 

The goal of the research, City of Hope said, is to identify a window of intervention. 

Natarajan and his colleagues will conduct epigenomic profiling studies with stored biosamples from type 1 diabetic patients who also are experiencing metabolic memory. "Our studies could lead to identifying new biomarkers for early detection and more effective therapies for the debilitating complications of type 1 diabetes," Natarajan said in a statement.