The American Diabetes Association has announced the recipients of The American Diabetes Association and GSK Research Award. The $1.5 million award, made possible through GSK, supports a series of research grants focusing on the relationship between nutrition, the microbiome and metabolic pathologies, like obesity and diabetes.

The recipients of the award are:

  • Jacob E.  Friedman, PhD, University of Colorado, Denver: Friedman’s research, “The Role of Maternal Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes on the Development of the Infant Microbiome and Adiposity,” will test the hypothesis that adiposity development in children is, at least in part, mediated through exposure of infants to an abnormal maternal microbiome early in life.
  • Maria Louise Marco, PhD, University of California, Davis: Marco’s research, “The mechanisms of resistant starch and lactobacillus effects on the intestinal microbiota and protection against obesity and insulin resistance,” will investigate how two common food ingredients, fermentable carbohydrates (resistant starch) and lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacilllus), may improve health through alteration of the bacterial diversity and metabolic profiles of the intestinal microbiota.
  • Nicolas Musi, MD, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio: Musi’s research, “The mechanism of microbiome-induced insulin resistance in humans,” will examine whether changes in the composition of gut bacteria as a result of a high-fat diet alter the amount of endotoxin that enters the bloodstream.  The research will also test whether reducing the level of endotoxin in the blood of people who are obese and have type 2 diabetes improves glucose metabolism and whether compounds that block endotoxin can improve the ability of human muscle cells to metabolize glucose.

The microbiome has long been recognized for its role in the gastrointestinal tract, but more needs to be done to evaluate the emerging regulatory role it plays in metabolism, according tothe American Diabetes Association and GSK Research Award. The award was created to support research aimed at understanding the impact of changes in diet, lifestyle and/or therapeutics on microbiome composition and function; and the mechanistic pathways through which microbiome composition and function may impact host metabolic function.  The grants are each three-year awards. For more information, visit

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