A team of Yale investigators has been awarded the 2016 Team Science Award from the Association for Clinical and Translational Science (ACTS) for its pioneering work in advancing our understanding of the mechanisms underlying type 2 diabetes.
Gerald I. Shulman, MD, PhD, George R. Cowgill Professor of Medicine, Cellular & Molecular Physiology and Physiological Chemistry; Douglas L. Rothman, PhD, professor of diagnostic radiology and biomedical engineering; Gary W. Cline, PhD, associate professor of medicine; and Kitt Falk Petersen, MD, professor of medicine, received the award for unraveling the molecular basis of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Their research elucidated the role and molecular mechanisms of ectopic lipid in the pathogenesis of liver and muscle insulin resistance in obesity and type 2 diabetes and explained the molecular mechanisms by which metformin, thiazolidinediones, weight loss, leptin, and exercise reverse insulin resistance in patients with type 2 diabetes.
The ACTS team science award recognizes the efforts of interdisciplinary teams in the translation of research discoveries into clinical applications and eventually widespread clinical practice. Led by Shulman, the team pioneered the development of novel magnetic resonance spectroscopy, gas chromatography mass spectrometry, and liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry methods to noninvasively assess carbohydrate and lipid metabolism in specific tissues in humans for the first time. Their work utilized such resources as the Hospital Research Unit and the Magnetic Resonance Research Center, which are supported by Yale’s Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA).
These studies have led to several paradigm shifts in our understanding of the regulation of liver and muscle carbohydrate and fat metabolism in humans. They have also led to the identification of several novel therapeutic targets for the prevention and treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease/non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and type 2 diabetes that are now in clinical development.