Arkansas Researchers Get $2.2 Million to Study Obesity and Diabetes

Arkansas Researchers Get $2.2 Million to Study Obesity and Diabetes


Three researchers from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will examine the links between obesity and diabetes in a study funded by National Institutes of Health grants totaling $2.2 million.

Gov. Mike Huckabee, who has lost 110 pounds and run a marathon since a diagnosis of Type II diabetes, announced the four-year grants during a news conference at the school Thursday.

“We must wrestle with treating the deadly and costly medical problems, like diabetes, that are caused by being overweight,” Huckabee said. “These UAMS scientists are conducting groundbreaking research that could find ways to prevent the development of diabetes.”

The three scientists awarded the grants were Philip Kern, whose expertise is in obesity and insulin resistance; Robert E. McGehee, an authority on fat cell biology and development, and Charlotte Peterson, an expert in muscle cell biology.

Diabetes is the state’s sixth leading cause of death, and obesity is known to be a main contributor to the development of the disease. Nearly 8 percent of Arkansans have diabetes, according to a UAMS news release.

The scientists hope to identify the cellular mechanisms that cause a pre-diabetic condition and the development of Type II diabetes.

— Associated Press

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