Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Tex.

My name is Larry Chan. I'm an endocrinologist at Baylor College of Medicine Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. At our institution, diabetes research is conducted in multiple departments, divisions, and centers. At the basic level, we have developed a new gene therapy in which researchers are able to induce the formation of new islets, the insulin production factory in the body, in the liver of diabetic mice. These islets produce enough insulin to completely reverse diabetes in these animals. The next step in this research would be to develop a therapy capable of protecting these newly formed islets from autoimmune attack, a necessary step before we can translate the therapy into a cure for type 1 diabetes in humans.

Through the Behavioral Medicine Research Center, we're conducting a clinical research program to look at the long-term health effects of weight loss in men and women who are overweight and have type 2 diabetes. Researchers are able to observe the impacts of lifestyle counseling, changing patients' diets, and a diabetes education and support program on patients' long-term health.

Through our underserved populations in the Harris County Hospital District, we're investigating novel forms of diabetes characterized by severe defects in insulin secretion by the pancreas. These studies are helping to reclassify diabetes and identifying new causes of dysfunction of the pancreatic islets.

The Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor is participating in an NIH-funded study to determine if making changes to cafeteria food options and physical education programs, as well as promoting healthy behaviors will lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.

At the Huffington Center on Aging at Baylor, researchers are also looking at diabetes as it relates to aging and the elderly population. Through these efforts, Baylor considers type 1 and type 2 diabetes from diverse research disciplines that cover all stages in life.


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