Samuel Dagogo-Jack, MD, Director of the UTHSC Division of Endocrinology, Receives $1.1 Million Grant to Continue Diabetes Prevention Study

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Dr. Sam Dagogo-Jack
Dr. Samuel Dagogo-Jack

Samuel Dagogo-Jack, MD, FRCP, of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) has played a major role in the fight against diabetes throughout his career. Dr. Dagogo-Jack, who directs the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism in the College of Medicine at UTHSC, has received a $1.1 million grant to continue the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study (DPPOS).

The grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, is for $228,000 a year over five years. Dr. Dagogo-Jack leads the UTHSC site of the study that includes research sites across the United States. This phase of the study is an extension of the original Diabetes Prevention Program that was launched in 1996.

Dysglycemia – the abnormal regulation of blood sugar – covers a long sequence of events from pre-diabetes to the onset of Type 2 diabetes, the development of clinically detectable changes, and finally the clinical complications of diabetes, which can be life-threatening.

The original Diabetes Prevention Program (which Dr. Dagogo-Jack led at Washington University before joining UTHSC, while Abbas Kitabchi, MD, led the UTHSC site) focused on the pre-diabetes stage and demonstrated the powerful beneficial effects of lifestyle intervention and the drug metformin in delaying or even preventing the onset of Type 2 diabetes. Research subjects received information about diet and exercise to head off Type 2 diabetes, Dr. Dagogo-Jack said.

“As a result of our efforts in that one area of public health, the spike we’ve been seeing in new diabetes cases seems to be leveling off in the United States, though there’s still a forward trajectory in other parts of the world,” Dr. Dagogo-Jack said. “That good news is due in no small part to the early inventions we’ve been championing here at UTHSC.”

His research will continue with the same racially diverse group of Memphians who have some stage of glucose abnormalities and now are growing older. He will be looking at cardiovascular disease, cancer risk, memory loss and physical functioning.

“The results will be very relevant to the aging population that we currently have,” Dr. Dagogo-Jack said. He commended Ethel Faye Hampton, RN, research coordinator, and Debra Clark, LPN, research assistant, for their contributions to the success of the DPPOS study at UTHSC.

Dr. Dagogo-Jack also directs the Clinical Research Center at UTHSC and is the A.C. Mullins Endowed Professor in Translational Research. He was the 2015 president, Medicine and Science, for the American Diabetes Association.

Over the years, Dr. Dagogo-Jack also has received other funding for diabetes research, including a $3.1 million grant in 2013 for a study titled, “Pathobiology and Reversibility of Prediabetes in aBiracial Cohort (PROP-ABC),” and a $2.9 million grant in 2006 for a study titled, “Pathobiology of Prediabetes in a Biracial Cohort (POP-ABC).”

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.