Merchant, Anwar T, PhD
Relation between fasting plasma glucose,insulin and periodontal microorganisms
General Research Subject: Type 2 Diabetes
Focus: Complications, Complications\ Macrovascular-Atherosclerotic CVD and Human Diabetes, Epidemiology
Type of Grant: Minority Undergraduate Internship
Project Start Date: January 1, 2013
Project End Date: December 31, 2013
Diabetes Type: Type 2 diabetes
The intern will evaluate the relation between serum antibody titers of selected periodontal microorganisms and fasting insulin and glucose in adults using data from NHANES 3. The periodontal microorganism antibody titers in NHANES 3 will be grouped using cluster analysis. The intern will conduct the analyses, literature searches, and take the lead in writing a manuscript based on these data. This internship will give the candidate supervised experience in epidemiologic data analysis, interpretation, and manuscript writing.
Mentor: Anwar Merchant Undergraduate: Candra Chaisson
What area of diabetes research does your project cover? What role will this particular project play in preventing, treating, and curing diabetes?
In this epidemiologic analysis we will evaluate the extent to which chronic oral infection is related to fasting insulin and glucose levels in individuals with diabetes, pre-diabetes, and no diabetes. The results from this study increase our understanding of the factors that influence fasting insulin and glucose levels, which can ultimately help in the prevention of type-2 diabetes.
If a person with diabetes were to ask you how your project will help them in the future, how would you respond?
This study will increase our understanding of factors that influence fasting insulin and glucose in persons with and without diabetes. It will provide clues for subsequent studies that can help in preventing type-2 diabetes.
Why is it important for you, personally, to become involved in diabetes research? What role will this award play in your efforts?
As a fresh graduate from dental school I noticed that a disproportionate number of my patients with periodontal disease had diabetes. Moreover, the response to periodontal treatment was less than optimal when their diabetes was not under control. I was intrigued by this observation. When I moved to the University of South Carolina I had the opportunity to become involved in diabetes research and began studying the relation between oral health and diabetes.
In what direction do you see the future of diabetes research going?
The ultimate goal is to prevent diabetes. Among people with diabetes the goal is to prevent diabetes related complications. The thrust of my research is to find new strategies to prevent diabetes and its related complications.
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