Professor Samuel Dagogo-Jack of UTHSC Receives $3.1 Million Grant to Continue Prediabetes Research

Dagogog-Jack Grant Renewal Photo

Samuel Dagogo-Jack, MD, FRCP, who directs both the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, and the Clinical Research Center at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC), has received a major grant to continue his study of prediabetes. Those with prediabetes, a condition involving higher-than-normal blood sugar levels, progress to diabetes at a rate of 10 percent per year.

Dr. Dagogo-Jack, who is also the A.C. Mullins Endowed Professor in Translational Research, has received a renewal grant totaling $ 3,103,528 from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). His new study titled, “Pathobiology and Reversibility of Prediabetes in a Biracial Cohort (PROP-ABC),” is being conducted over a five-year period.

In 2006, the NIH awarded a $2.9 million grant to Dr. Dagogo-Jack for a project titled, “Pathobiology of Prediabetes in a Biracial Cohort (POP-ABC).” Over a five-year period, Dr. Dagogo-Jack and his colleagues recruited and studied roughly 400 African- American and Caucasian research volunteers from the Memphis area. All had normal blood sugar levels at the time of enrollment, but they also had one or both parents with Type 2 diabetes. The purpose of that study was to determine how and why blood sugar drifts from normal levels to prediabetes. More than 100 of the volunteers developed prediabetes during the study, and many new insights were gained regarding the roles of race, weight gain, diet, exercise, insulin sensitivity, insulin secretion and energy expenditure on the development of the condition.

At the conclusion, Dr. Dagogo-Jack applied to the NIH to propose the follow-up study. “Receiving a major NIH award of this size at this time of dwindling resources and fierce competition is a tremendous endorsement of the importance of our work on ethnic disparities and early detection and prevention of prediabetes,” said Dr. Dagogo-Jack. “We are humbled and encouraged by this award and immensely grateful to the NIH and NIDDK for giving us the opportunity to continue our scientific service to humanity.”

The renewal grant allows Dr. Dagogo-Jack and colleagues to test interventions aimed at reversing prediabetes and restoring normal blood sugar metabolism among volunteers who have already developed prediabetes, as well as those who may do so during an additional five years of follow-up.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.