University receives NIH Diabetes Research Center grant with partner institutions

Professor John Buse will lead the University's site in a $5.7 million diabetes research collaboration with Duke, Wake Forest, and NC A&T, funded through the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The school of medicine at UNC-Chapel Hill
Bondurant Hall, home of Carolina's School of Medicine. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

The UNC School of Medicine – with partners Wake Forest School of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, and NC Agricultural and Technical State University (NC A&T) – has been awarded a $5.7 million Diabetes Research Center grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Diabetes Research Center grants are designed to enhance and extend the effectiveness of diabetes research by encouraging collaboration among investigators from relevant disciplines.

John Buse, MD, PhD

John Buse, MD, PhD

“We are grateful for the support of our colleagues in pursuing this opportunity to work together to better understand, prevent and treat diabetes,” said UNC site principal investigator John Buse, MD, PhD, Director of the UNC Diabetes Center and the Verne S. Caviness Distinguished Professor of Medicine.

“UNC’s efforts in this grant leverages the resources of the North Carolina Translational Clinical Sciences (NC TraCS) Institute and over 200 scientists at UNC engaged in diabetes research. NC TraCS partner institution NC A&T will lead efforts to engage community stakeholders across the state and specifically the historically black colleges and universities,” said Buse, Director of NC TraCS at UNC-Chapel Hill.

As one of only 12 NIH Diabetes Research Centers in the United States, the grant will provide investigators – both established in or new to diabetes research – with access to powerful research technologies to enhance the impact of their work, as well as to connect investigators with collaborators to expand the scope of their projects.

The NC Diabetes Research Center (NCDRC) will also provide educational programs and pilot grants for diabetes research, as well as support research infrastructure, including facilities for performing genomic, proteomic and metabolomic studies. The NCDRC plans to hold an annual Diabetes Research Symposium in Greensboro for investigators from all four campuses in the fall of 2020.

Other principal investigators include Don McClain, MD, PhD, at Wake Forest, David D’Alessio MD, at Duke, and Elimelda Ongeri PhD, at NC A&T.

Buse added, “It has been an absolute pleasure working with these colleagues over the last several years to put this collaboration together, and even better to receive the support of NIDDK validating our efforts.”

NC TraCS is the integrated hub of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Program at UNC-Chapel Hill that combines the research strengths, resources and opportunities of the UNC-Chapel Hill campus, partner institutions RTI International (RTI) in the Research Triangle Park (RTP), North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (N.C. A&T) in Greensboro, and North Carolina State University (NCSU) in Raleigh.