Toward a Better Understanding of Diabetes and Obesity

Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, a sharp increase over the past five years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Another 79 million Americans have a condition known as prediabetes-higher-than-normal blood glucose levels that aren't classified as diabetes but that increase an individual's risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. Obesity-a key risk factor for type 2 diabetes and other diseases-has also reached near-epidemic proportions in the United States. Studies by the CDC found that between 1980 and 2008, obesity rates for adults doubled, while rates for children tripled. More than one-third of adults and 17% of children are obese. These and other statistics paint a dim picture of the nation's battle with obesity and diabetes and illustrate the need for more research into the causes of and new therapies for diabetes. Our Center for Endocrine and Metabolic Research (CEMR) engages basic and clinical researchers from PVLSI, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the Baystate Medical Center. The group's primary goal is to identify important biological problems in the areas of hormone action and cellular metabolism and then address them with an integrated interdisciplinary team. This work spans basic aspects of biology to the development of new clinical therapies. A major interest is examining how chemicals in the environment, such as bisphenol A-a component of some plastics-disrupt metabolism and contribute to diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and cancer. A second focus is developing novel therapies for the survival and transplantation of insulin-secreting B cells from the pancreas.

Scientists, engineers, and clinicians from PVLSI, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and the Baystate Medical Center whose work is related to diabetes and metabolic disorders are welcome to attend Center for Endocrine and Metabolic Research meetings and become involved in the center's activities. For more information, please contact Alan Schneyer, PhD, at 413.794.0864 or by e-mail at alan.schneyer@bhs.org. If your company is interested in the group's work, please contact Marcia Dougan Woods at 413.794.0757 or by e-mail at marcia.woods@baystatehealth.org.

 

Members of the Center for Endocrine and Metabolic Research

Jeff Blaustein, PhD
Professor, Psychology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Barry Braun, PhD
Associate Professor, Kinesiology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Melissa Brown, PhD, RD
Research Scientist, PVLSI; Instructor, Nutrition, University of Massachusetts Amherst
D. Joseph Jerry, PhD
Science Director, PVLSI; Director, Center for Breast Cancer Research, PVLSI; Professor, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Young-Cheul Kim, PhD
Assistant Professor, Nutrition, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Daniel Grow, MD
Chairman, Baystate Reproductive Medicine, Baystate Medical Center
John Nicasio, DO
Director of Clinical Trials, Endocrinology and Diabetes, Baystate Health
Alan Schneyer, PhD
Distinguished Scientist, PVLSI; Director, Center for Endocrine and Metabolic Research; Adjunct Research Professor, Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Lawrence M. Schwartz, PhD
Eugene M. Ronnie Isenberg Professor of Integrated Science in the Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Sabyasachi Sen, MD, MRCP, PhD
Endocrinology and Diabetes, Baystate Health
J. Enrique Silva, MD
Chief, Endocrinology and Diabetes, Baystate Health; Adjunct Professor, Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Cynthia Sites, MD
Chief, Reproductive Endocrinology, Baystate Medical Center
Kimberly D. Tremblay, PhD
Assistant Professor, Veterinary and Animal Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Rich Viskochil, Doctoral Candidate
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Nagendra Yadava, PhD
Scientist, PVLSI; Adjunct Research Professor, Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst
R. Thomas Zoeller, PhD
Professor, Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst