Identifying Novel Genes and Pathways Involved in Glucose Regulation

Understanding the role of genes in type 2 diabetes to improve treatment in Wisconsin

Full Project Name:Gene Expression in HS Rats to Identify Novel Genes and Pathways Involved in Glucose RegulationPrincipal Investigator:Leah Solberg-Woods, PhDAward Amount:$75,000
Award Date
October2009
Project Duration:24 months

Project Description Narrative:


In 2005, 256,000 persons, or 6% of the population of Wisconsin, were diagnosed with diabetes. This is a sharp increase from the early 1990s, in which only 150,000 persons were diagnosed with diabetes in the state, and this sharp increase is expected to continue. Type 2 diabetes (which account for 90% of all cases of diabetes) results from a combination of genetic, environmental, and behavioral factors. Improving understanding the causes of this disease will enable the advancement of therapies and treatment, resulting in improvement in people’s health.

Through this award, investigators aim to use heterogeneous stock rats to identify genes and gene pathways that play a role in type 2 diabetes. Understanding gene function will greatly enhance the understanding of molecular mechanisms involved in type 2 diabetes and facilitate drug discovery as well as non-therapeutic treatment options to improve the lives of people in Wisconsin.

Outcomes & Lessons Learned:


• Identified a candidate gene involved in glucose regulation

• Collaborated with a large consortium that has collected genetic data from over 40,000 individuals

• Collected preliminary data that implicates several gene pathways that differ between animals with glucose intolerance and those with normal glucose regulation including: fatty acid metabolism, translation initiation factor activity and oxidation reduction

• Disseminated new findings at local, regional, and national conferences to improve understanding of type 2 diabetes

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