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 Current News Features

June 19, 2014

Diabetes Susceptibility Gene Regulates Health of Cell's Powerhouse, Penn Study Finds

Gene PathwayA team led by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that a susceptibility gene for type 1 diabetes regulates self-destruction of the cell’s energy factory. They report their findings this week in Cell. First author Scott A. Soleimanpour, MD, a postdoctoral fellow in the lab of co-senior author Doris Stoffers, MD, PhD, professor of Medicine, worked out this role of Clec16a in pancreatic beta cells. Soleimanpour is now an assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School. Stoffers is also a member of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism at Penn.

>> Read Press Release

June 13, 2014

One in Four Americans With Diabetes Don't Know They Have It

Mark Schutta, MDMark Schutta, MD, medical director of the Penn Rodebaugh Diabetes Center speaks with WHYY's "The Pulse" about new diabetes numbers from the Centers for Disease Control out this week. More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes and one in four don't even know they have it. That's up 12 percent from 2010, when 26 million Americans had the disease. Schutta was not surprised by the increased numbers, but he has hope that education and hard work will eventually turn the tide. "Prevention is key," he said.

>> WHYY segment

June 6, 2014

A New Way to Burn Calories

A New Way to Burn CaloriesAn image from the lab of Mitch Lazar, MD, PhD, director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism, showing brown fat in a PET scan of a mouse, accompanies a feature in Science about how activating immune cells in fat can convert the tissue from a type of fat that stores energy to one that burns it. This may open up potential new therapies for obesity and diabetes.

>> Science article

June 6, 2014

Activating Beige Fat

Patrick Seale, PhDThe ability of beige fat tissue to burn energy by producing heat has made it an appealing target for a potential obesity therapy. Beige fat is an energy-burning form of adipose tissue embedded in white fat, the energy-storing kind. In studies to find out what turns on these calorie-chewing cells, two independent teams ended up converging upon the same innate immune pathway. Their papers, published in Cell, demonstrate that beige fat activation relies upon the signaling of particular interleukins and the activation of adipose tissue macrophages. “The role of immune cells in regulating fat cell differentiation programs hasn’t been well established,” said Patrick Seale, PhD, assistant professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, in The Scientist. “It suggests they’re playing a role in the function of the fat cells themselves.”

>> The Scientist article
June 2, 2014

Nearing 300 Pounds, Gina DiGregorio Knew It Was Time For A Change. Now, She's 137 Pounds Lighter.

Penn Rodebaugh Diabetes Center helps Gina DiGregorio on her weight loss journey.

Gina DiGregorio

>> Read the full story in the Huffington Post