The FOE Diabetes Research Center at the University of Iowa wishes you a heartfelt Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

The FOE Diabetes Research Center at the University of Iowa wishes you a heartfelt Happy New Year! Our ongoing commitment and resolution to the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the entire community is to continue research aimed at bettering the lives of all who live with diabetes and to rigorously search for ways to cure or reverse the alarming increase in diabetes across the world.

An excellent example of this commitment is seen in the recent work of Dr. Ajit Vikram and Kaikobad Irani whose work provides new insights into how the bacteria in our gut can lead to blood vessel damage that characterizes diabetes.

Diabetes significantly increases the risk for heart attacks and stroke. FOEDRC researchers Dr. Ajit Vikram and Kaikobad Irani recently published an important paper in the Journal Nature Communications that provides  new understanding of why blood vessel inflammation and damage occurs in subjects at high risk for cardiovascular disease. Their work discovered a previously undiscovered interaction between bacteria in the gut, which had previously been implicated in diabetes risk, and cardiovascular complications. The trillions of bacteria that colonize the gut play multiple roles in health and disease. Certain forms of gut bacteria promote diabetes, lead to weight gain, and also play an important part in heart disease. Their work illustrates a new mode of communication between bacteria in the gut and blood vessels, and how this communication leads to malfunction of blood vessels that can eventually precipitate plaque build-up and lead to heart disease. The gut bacteria signal through the blood stream to change expression of a class of small RNAs, termed microRNAs in the wall of the blood vessel. These microRNAs then target genes that maintain vascular health. Thus, this remote yet intricate communication between the gut and blood vessels impairs normal and healthy functioning of these vessels. These studies add to the growing body of information linking the bacteria in our guts with obesity, diabetes and its complications.

Thank you for your continued support and partnership. We look forward to working with you in the years to come.

All the very best for 2017