Diabetes in Pregnancy Research Awards
American Diabetes Association Awards Grants to Study Diabetes and Pregnancy
Three Scientists Receive Awards to Advance Critical Area of Diabetes Research
Alexandria, VA (November 25, 2003) -- The American Diabetes Association Research Foundation announced today the selection of three researchers to receive The Terry and Louise Gregg Diabetes in Pregnancy Research Award. This research award supports investigators who are developing basic science, clinical or translational research focusing on fetal growth and development in pregnant women who have diabetes. The work of these researchers could lead to developments that will result in pregnancies with the best possible outcomes for both mothers and their newborns.
The three award recipients indicated below will receive $300,000 each to complete their individual projects. Detailed profiles are also available.
- Patrick M. Catalano, MD of the MetroHealth Medical Center; Cleveland, Ohio
- Surendra Sharma, PhD of the Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Providence, Rhode Island
- Ake Lernmark, MD of the University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
The funding begins on January 1, 2004 and will continue for 3 years. To receive funding, projects are required to reflect one of five major focus areas: the role of leptin in fetal growth in pregnancy (1 project funded); regulation of placental vascular growth; beta cell mass in diabetic pregnancy; the role of cytokines in placental and fetal growth (1 project funded); or the influence of maternal autoantibodies on the fetus (1 project funded).
The Terry and Louise Gregg Diabetes in Pregnancy Research Award is funded in full by Terrance H. "Terry" and Louise Gregg of Los Angeles, CA. This gift culminates many years of personal and professional support for causes related to diabetes by Terry and Louise Gregg.
In addition to helping with local and national programs in the diabetes community, Mr. Gregg chairs the Association's Research Foundation Board of Directors. As the former President of Medtronic MiniMed, a world leader in insulin pump therapy and continuous glucose monitoring systems, headquartered in Northridge, California, Mr. Gregg has devoted his professional life to improving the lives of those affected by diabetes.
"These research awards provide resources to scientists at institutions across the country to further medical advances that improve the lives of women with diabetes and their children," said Vaneeda Bennett, Chief Development Officer for the American Diabetes Association.
The American Diabetes Association funds research aimed at preventing and curing diabetes, as well as research designed to help people with diabetes live longer, healthier, more normal lives. The goal of the ADA research program is to leverage its investment in research to achieve the greatest possible benefit for people with diabetes. In funding innovative studies such as those led by these investigators, the ADA National Research Program supports projects that cover the spectrum of diabetes-related research.
Diabetes during pregnancy is a serious condition that can lead to a myriad of health problems for both the pregnant mother and her child. Pregnancy demands more insulin in the body, because of the increased production of hormones that can lead to insulin resistance. Between 3 to 5 percent of pregnancies among women with diabetes result in newborn mortality within 28 days, compared to a rate of 1.5 percent for women who do not have diabetes. In addition, because of the increased risk of large birth weight in diabetic pregnancies, pregnant women with diabetes are 3 to 4 times more likely to have a cesarean section than the general population.
Diabetes is a chronic disease and a silent killer. More than 20 million Americans have diabetes and approximately 1.5 million new cases are diagnosed each year. In 2003, diabetes cost the United States $132 billion, up from $98 billion in 1997. A major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, diabetes is also the leading cause of blindness, kidney failure and amputations.
The American Diabetes Association is the nation's premier voluntary health organization supporting diabetes research, information and advocacy. Founded in 1940, the Association has offices in every region of the country, providing services to hundreds of communities. The Association's commitment to research is reflected through its scientific meetings; education and provider recognition programs; and its Research Foundation and Nationwide Research Program, which fund breakthrough studies looking into the cure, prevention, and treatment of diabetes and its complications. For more information, please visit www.diabetes.org or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.
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