University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, Calif.

UC San Diego has really been on the forefront for researching diabetes for over 20 years. One of the big areas has been insulin resistance. We know that insulin resistance is one of the main causes of type 2 diabetes, but we don't know what causes insulin resistance. Doctors Henry and Olefsky have been working in this area for many years and we're getting closer to finding out what is the cause of insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes.

Now, another area is islet cell transplant research. Doctors Hart and Hayek have been heading up this area, and of course, islet cell transplant research is really going to lead us to a cure and a therapy for people with type 1 diabetes and people with type 2 diabetes who really need more insulin secretion.

Now, the third big area has really been in the area of developing drugs and devices for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, something that actually can help people live better lives with diabetes.

Now, let me give you some examples. The first one is a drug called Byetta -- that's the marketing name, the chemical name is called exenatide. And believe it or not, this therapy for type 2 diabetes was accidentally discovered in the saliva of an endangered species lizard called the helomonster in Arizona. And it turns out this medication not only improves glucose levels, but it also leads to weight loss, and may actually improve the health of the pancreas, a tremendous advance.

Another is a hormone called Symlin. Symlin is a hormone that also comes from the pancreas just like insulin, works right along in partner along with insulin, and helps people with diabetes level out their blood sugars, and it also helps with weight loss. We know that when you have diabetes, weight gain is a big issue and any medication that can help you control your blood sugars and lose weight at the same time has been a tremendous advance to the people out in the country and the world living with diabetes.

The other big area that we've been researching here is a whole new technology called continuous glucose monitoring, little devices that measure your blood sugar every 5 minutes. I have diabetes and I have a continuous glucose monitor. And this device can help people live with diabetes so much more effectively and avoid the extreme highs, the extreme lows and ultimately reduce the terrible complications of diabetes.

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