LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) has partnered with researchers at the Marshall University (MU) Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine on five-year, $10.78 million grant from the Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) to investigate obesity and obesity-related conditions. The funding will support the establishment of the Appalachian Center for Cellular Transport in Obesity Related Disorders (ACCORD). Dr. Uma Sundaram, vice dean for research at the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, serves as principal investigator of the award.
As part of the collaboration, UK CCTS faculty will provide valuable input on the scientific and faculty development of Marshall's junior investigators, including support for five projects conducted by Marshall junior investigators. These projects will be thematically focused on cellular transport issues and their effect on obesity-related disorders. The UK CCTS’ experience with large NIH-funded research initiatives, coupled with the expertise of its faculty, will contribute critical support to ACCORD.
“Appalachia experiences disproportionate rates of obesity and related diseases. It’s critical that researchers and clinicians work together across institutions throughout the region to share expertise, resources, and discoveries. The UK CCTS is proud to partner with our colleagues at Marshall to provide mentorship and project support on this important work,” said Dr. Philip A. Kern, director of the UK CCTS and professor of medicine.
In addition to Kern, UK CCTS faculty participating in the COBRE grant are Dr. John Fowlkes, director of the UK Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center and chief of the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology; Richard Kryscio, PhD, director of the CCTS biostatistics core and professor of statistics in the UK Colleges of Arts & Sciences and Public Health; and Dr. Hartmut H. Malluche, chief of the Division of Nephrology, bone and mineral metabolism and medical director of the Bone Diagnostic and Research Laboratory.
Collaboration on the COBRE grant builds upon previous partnership between the UK CCTS and Marshall University on health issues that affect populations served by both institutions.
“The obesity epidemic and its many complications are not only prevalent in West Virginia, but also in Kentucky,“ said Sundaram. “This is why we already work with the University of Kentucky on their CTSA grant that was renewed in 2016. And, why it was natural for us to ask some of the outstanding investigators at UK to be involved in this COBRE grant. We, at Marshall, greatly appreciate the willingness of Dr. Kern and other UK investigators to be part of this grant that will benefit both our states’ citizens.”