Links between type 2 diabetes and lipid mobilization point to new treatment target

Yumi Imai, MD, associate professor in Endocrinology and Metabolism, received a four-year, $710,000 VA Merit Award. With this new grant, Imai will build on previous research to investigate type 2 diabetes treatment by identifying correlations between lipolysis and beta cell dysfunction. 

“Type 2 diabetes is the major health problem with high prevalence in the US, inflicting significant health, mental, and financial burdens to those who are affected,” Imai said. “The new grant aims to addresses why type 2 diabetes impairs the regulation of lipid mobilization so as to identify a new target that will prevent beta cell failure and improve a treatment of type 2 diabetes.”

Imai has previously found that lipolysis can mobilize fats in tissue islets affected by type 2 diabetes and beta cell dysfunction. Furthermore, these studies suggest dysfunctional pancreatic beta cells contribute to type 2 diabetes; however, the mechanism behind decline in the function of these beta cells is still unknown. Imai’s new research will aid with the understanding of the pancreatic beta cell failure.

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