Dr. Li Qiang Awarded $2M by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)

February 9, 2018
Dr. Li Qiang, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology Columbia University

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Dr. Li Qiang, PhD,  with $2,000,000 over five years to leverage basic discoveries in obesity and diabetes to develop novel approaches for the therapy of these conditions.

Over 30 million Americans are diabetic and 85.2% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese, indicating a strong bond between obesity and diabetes. PPARg is the master regulator of fat and also represents a key target for diabetes, indeed the only drug target directly improving insulin sensitivity. However, its synthetic ligands cause severe adverse side effects despite their potent insulin sensitizing function. Dr. Qiang’s laboratory has discovered the selective activation of PPARg though posttranslational modification---deacetylation, and based on this finding, they have developed a “dream couch potato” mouse model, meaning eat more, move less but stay in shape. More strikingly, these mice are protected from the side effects of PPARg activation. The goal of this study is to elucidate the selective regulation of PPARg through deacetylation and provide mechanistic insight to dissociate the insulin-sensitizing function of PPARg activation from its adverse effects.

Congratulations to Dr. Qiang on this remarkable award!


Research, Diabetes