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Study to explore if protein protects against inflammation found in obesity and Type 2 Disabetes

October 8, 2014

Dr. Hsiao-Huei Chen has received a grant from Canadian Diabetes Association valued at $280,000 over three years for the project “Neural and immune control of metabolism” Dr. Chen plans to use the grant money to study obesity as a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, and chronic inflammation, which is seen in both obesity and type 2 diabetes. Normally, inflammation is the body's healthy response to infection or injury, such as when a cut becomes hot, red, and swollen. However, obesity can cause chronic inflammation in the whole body, which can cause health problems, like type 2 diabetes. Dr. Chen has found that when the diet includes a lot of saturated fat, a certain protein's levels become low, which may be a cause of the whole-body inflammation that leads to obesity and pre-diabetes, and eventually to type 2 diabetes. Dr. Chen's team has found that this protein acts differently in male and female mice. Dr. Chen is studying how and why this happens in order to find out if whole-body inflammation can be stopped.

About the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with the university’s Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. OHRI includes more than 1,700 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

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