Prevention & management - Currently Funded
Dr. André C. Carpentier (Operating Grant funded 2010-2013)
University of Sherbrooke (Sherbrooke, QC)
Title: Energy metabolism of brown fat in humans
Brown fat, or brown adipose tissue (BAT), burns blood sugar. This process is activated when the person is cold, and it is less active in people who are obese and in people who have diabetes. Dr. André C. Carpentier and his colleagues, Drs. Denis Richard, François Haman, and Eric Turcotte are assessing how BAT activity is regulated and why it is less active in people with diabetes. Dr. Carpentier hopes to find ways to activate BAT as a strategy to prevent and treat obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Allison Dart (Operating Grant funded 2011-2014)
University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB)
Title: The Improving CArdiovascular complications in youth with type 2 diabetes through REsearch (iCARE) Prospective Cohort Study
Type 2 diabetes is increasing in youth (<18 years at diagnosis) and is linked to chronic kidney disease in early adulthood. Dr. Dart is trying to determine the most important risk factors linked to early kidney disease in youth with type 2 diabetes. She is specifically going to evaluate the role of insulin resistance as well as the role of abnormally increased kidney function on the development of early kidney injury. As type 2 diabetes is a new disease in youth, little is known about how to prevent or treat kidney complications, which can progress to end stage (requiring dialysis). This research could provide valuable information about new treatment strategies and targets for youth with type 2 diabets at high risk for progression to end stage.
Dr. Kaberi Dasgupta (Operating Grant funded 2012-2015)
The Research Institute of McGill University Health Centre (Montréal, QC)
Title: Gestational Diabetes- A diabetes risk indicator in father and child?
Women who have had gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Healthy eating and physical activity can help prevent this from happening. When a mother has gestational diabetes, her child and its father could also both be at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes because families often share physical activity and eating habits. Dr. Kaberi Dasgupta and her team plan to analyse information from three Quebec databases to determine if fathers and adolescent children have a higher future risk of type 2 diabetes when the mother has had gestational diabetes. If this is true, Dr. Dasgupta and others can develop diabetes prevention efforts that focus on the whole family.
Dr. Linda Dodds (Operating Grant funded 2011-2013)
Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS)
Title: Environmental Chemicals and Maternal-Fetal Markers of Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolic Dysfunction
Although environmental chemicals have been implicated in the risk of diabetes, little is known about the effects of prenatal exposures on the development of diabetes, obesity, and metabolic dysfunction in pregnant women and children. Dr. Dodds and her team are trying to determine whether prenatal exposure to such environmental chemicals is actually associated with diabetes and early life markers of obesity and metabolic dysfunction. A better understanding of the effects of environmental exposures, at levels relevant to the general Canadian population, is essential for both effective risk assessment and policy development.
Dr. Nicole Gallo-Payet (Operating Grant funded 2010-2013)
Universite de Sherbrooke (Sherbrooke, QC)
Title: Roles and mechanisms of action of the type 2 receptor of angiotensin II (AT2R) in adipocyte physiology and insulin resistance
The hormone angiotensin II may be associated with the development of insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes, but it connects to two different receptors, one of which (called AT1) seems to increase insulin resistance and one (called AT2R) which may have the opposite effect. Dr. Nicole Gallo-Payet is examining AT2R to determine if it truly does have a protective effect against insulin resistance.
Dr. Rohan Ganguli (Operating Grant funded 2012-2015)
Centre for Addiction & Mental Health (Toronto, ON)
Title: Effectiveness of intensive lifestyle interventions in the management of diabetes in individuals with psychosis
People with serious mental illness are at an increased risk of becoming overweight and of developing type 2 diabetes. A person with type 2 diabetes and serious mental illness may face worsening of their mental illness, lower quality of life, and an increased risk of death. Although lifestyle interventions for both weight loss and management of type 2 diabetes have been tested in the general population, there are few studies that include people with serious mental illness. Dr. Rohan Ganguli and his team will examine the effect of lifestyle interventions on nutrition, exercise, weight loss, and blood sugar control in people who are living with both type 2 diabetes and serious mental illness. The lifestyle interventions will be compared to usual treatment. Dr. Ganguli hopes to be able to determine if this particular lifestyle intervention could improve the health and enhance the quality and length of life for this at‐risk population.
Dr. Anthony J. G. Hanley (Operating Grant funded 2011-2014)
University of Toronto (Toronto, ON)
Title: Longitudinal studies of insulin resistance, beta cell dysfunction and related biomarkers in the PROMISE cohort.
The primary factors underlying diabetes are the inadequate production and use of insulin by the body. In fact, these traits are present in people destined to get diabetes many years before the onset of the disease. Dr. Hanley is trying to determine which factors lead to these declines in the use and production of insulin over time. Understanding these risk factors for adult onset diabetes could help in the development of new primary and secondary diabetes prevention strategies.
Dr. Caroline K. Kramer (Postdoctoral Fellowship Award funded 2012-2014)
Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto, ON)
Supervisors: Dr. Bernard Zinman and Dr. Ravi Retnakaran
Title: Vitamin D and the Early Pathophysiology of Type 2 Diabetes in Women with a History of Gestational Diabetes
Women who have had gestational diabetes (diabetes in pregnancy) have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life. Recently, it was shown that low levels of vitamin D in the blood may be associated with developing diabetes. Since low levels of vitamin D are common in young Canadian women, Dr. Caroline Kramer wants to find out if this is a risk factor for developing gestational diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Dr. Kramer will measure blood vitamin D levels in women with and without gestational diabetes during and in the years after pregnancy. If low vitamin D is found to be related to diabetes in these women, it might be possible to prevent these conditions with vitamin D supplements, a safe and established therapy.
Dr. Howard Nathan (Operating Grant funded 2012-2015)
Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (Ottawa, ON)
Title: The Effect of an Inter-Disciplinary Program, Including Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, on Psychosocial Function, Pain and Metabolism in Patients with Painful Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
A common complication of diabetes is damage to the nerves in the hands and feet that can lead to numbness and pain (called diabetes‐related neuropathy). The pain can make it difficult to maintain employment and carry out activities of daily living, which can cause anxiety and depression. Dr. Howard Nathan and his team will run a clinical trial to study a psychological treatment where groups of people are taught relaxation techniques, meditation, yoga, and coping strategies. Early studies suggest that this treatment improves quality of life, increases adherence to healthy activities and diet, and may result in better blood glucose control. Research also suggests that stress reduction decreases certain blood hormones and might thereby directly improve blood glucose control. Dr. Nathan's clinical trial will directly measure these potential benefits to determine if this psychosocial intervention could help improve the mental and physical health of people with diabetes.
Dr. Bulangu L. Gregoire Nyomba (Operating Grant funded 2011-2014)
University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB)
Title: Abnormal glucose regulation associated with alcohol exposure in utero
Although studies show that alcohol consumption by the parents increases the risk of obesity in children, it is not known if it causes diabetes. Dr. Nyomba is examining how drinking alcohol during pregnancy causes diabetes in adult offspring, and how this can be transmitted through generations, explaining the passage of diabetes from mother to child. This research could help us better understand the origins of diabetes and subsequently help to develop new strategies for its prevention.
Dr. Constadina (Dina) Panagiotopoulos (Clinician Scientist Award funded 2008-2013)
University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)
Title: Brighter smiles- a community-driven model for prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes in remote First Nations communities.
Dr. Dina Panagiotopoulos is trying to determine the rates of obesity, pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes in the children of three Pacific Coast First Nations communities. Obesity and type 2 diabetes are major health problems in First Nations children. Dr. Panagiotopoulos will then work with the communities to develop programs to prevent and treat obesity and diabetes.
Mr. Travis J. Saunders (Doctoral Student Research Award funded 2011-2013)
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (Ottawa, ON)
Supervisor: Dr. Mark S. Tremblay
Title: Sedentary Time and Markers of Cardiometabolic Risk in Children and Youth
Canadian children spend more than 8 hours per day – half of their waking hours – sitting. Sedentary behaviours are associated with increased risk of glucose intolerance and the metabolic syndrome. Mr. Saunders is examining the effects of prolonged sitting for one day (with and without breaks or structured physical activity) on markers of metabolic risk in children and youth. This research will help in understanding the physiological processes that link sedentary behaviour with increased metabolic risk. This could aid in developing strategies to prevent or reduce diabetes risk in Canadian children and youth.
Dr. Gregory R. Steinberg (Operating Grant funded 2010-2013)
McMaster University (Hamilton, ON)
Title: Role of acetyl-CoA carboxylase phosphorylation in the control of fatty acid metabolism and insulin sensitivity
Obesity is an important cause of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. With obesity, fat accumulates in muscle and the liver, and this contributes to insulin resistance. Dr. Gregory R. Steinberg is examining what causes fat to accumulate in the muscle and liver and how this may be prevented. This research may lead to the development of better therapies to treat and prevent type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Ellen Louise Toth (Operating Grant funded 2012-2014)
University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB)
Title: Diabetes and self-determination in Alberta communities
First Nations people in Canada have higher rates of diabetes than other Canadians. Yet, some isolated First Nations communities may be protected from diabetes. It is thought that these communities may be protected because they live a more traditional way of life or they have more control over their own community. Dr. Ellen Toth is interviewing First Nations leaders to learn about what community control means for them. She and her team will then explore diabetes rates for each First Nations community using government data to determine if more control is related to lower diabetes rates. If community control is related to diabetes, then communities will be able to use this strategy to protect the health of community members.
Dr. Thomas M. S. Wolever (Operating Grant funded 2010-2013)
University of Toronto (Toronto, ON)
Title: The effect of a low glycemic index (GI) diet on maternal and neonatal markers of glycemic control and post-partum diabetes risk
Dr. Thomas M.S. Wolever is studying how diet affects blood sugar in women with gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy). The glycemic index (GI) is a way of ranking how much a food raises blood sugar after eating. Dr. Wolever is testing if using low GI foods will result in better blood sugar two hours after meals. Results from this study may help improve the treatment of gestational diabetes.
Dr. David C. Wright (Scholar Award funded 2008-2013)
University of Guelph (Guelph, ON)
Title: Exercise induced adipose tissue mitochondrial biogenesis: Implications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes
Dr. David C. Wright is studying ways to increase the number of mitochondria (the energy-producing parts of the cell) in fat tissue, since lower numbers are linked to type 2 diabetes. Understanding how exercise can prevent or reverse reductions in mitochondria numbers may lead to the development of treatments that have the same effects.
Dr. Natalia Yakubovich (Operating Grant funded 2011-2014)
McMaster University (Hamilton, ON)
Title: Remission Evaluation of Metabolic Interventions in Type 2 Diabetes (REMIT): A Randomized Controlled Pilot Trial
This pilot study will determine whether patients with early type 2 diabetes can achieve and maintain normal glucose levels after intensive treatment that combines lifestyle, insulin, metformin and acarbose. If subsequent studies show that this novel treatment approach is successful in reversing diabetes for a prolonged period of time in newly diagnosed individuals, this could reduce some of the cost and burden associated with managing this disease.
Dr. Bernard Zinman (Operating Grant funded 2010-2013)
Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto, ON)
Title: Role of the arginine/nitric oxide metabolome in the early natural history of cardiovascular disease in young women with varying degrees of glucose intolerance in pregnancy
Women who develop gestational diabetes (diabetes during pregnancy) have a higher risk of developing heart disease later in life. Dr. Bernard Zinman and Dr. Ravi Retnakaran are studying women with and without diabetes during pregnancy, over time, to identify changes in the body that may lead to diabetes and heart disease. Dr. Zinman hopes to find ways to identify women who are at highest risk for developing heart disease so that doctors can intervene before heart disease develops.
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