FOEDRC member Dr. Gail Bishop receives new grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Dr. Gail Bishop a member of the FOEDRC and a Professor in the Departments of Microbiology and Medicine and Director, Center for Immunology & Immune-Based Diseases received a two year grant for $275,000 from the National Institutes of Health.

The proposal: CD40 as a regulator of CD8 T cell activation in obesity and adipose tissue inflammation will study how a protein in inflammatory cells may lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes is strongly associated with obesity, and both conditions have greatly increased worldwide over the past several decades. Obesity is associated with chronic inflammation, particularly in adipose tissue surrounding major organs in the abdomen, called ‘visceral adipose tissue’ (VAT). Our lab recently made an unexpected finding that a protein expressed by a type of white blood cell called a T lymphocyte plays a key role in inhibiting inflammation associated with obesity in the VAT. This protein, called CD40, normally activates cells of the immune system, but in this specialized tissue environment, it is playing an opposite role. This new project will explore how cell-to-cell interactions in the VAT restrain inflammation and altered metabolism that can lead to obesity-associated inflammation, resistance to insulin, and type 2 diabetes. This knowledge can be valuable for development of new approaches to combat these conditions.

Thursday, February 18, 2016