$1.1M Awarded To Type 2 Diabetes And Heart Disease Research Using Biobank Data

Heart health. Source: 472301, no changes made, CC0 Creative Commons.
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The University of Arizona (UA) Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. The UA Health Sciences serves the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest providing cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. It is a major economic engine, employing approximately 4,000 people, with approximately 800 faculty members and garners more than $140 million in research grants and contracts annually.

Genetic epidemiologist Yann Klimentidis, PhD, at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health received a $1.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the genetic and biological connection between type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Taking statins to prevent heart attacks, increases the risk of developing type II diabetes. Dr. Klimentidis’s research team will also examine why this is the case. An estimated 30.3 million people of all ages, 9.4 percent of the U.S. population, had diabetes in 2015. In 2014, 1.5 million hospital discharges were reported for major cardiovascular diseases, with 70 percent of those patients having diabetes, according to the latest figures from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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The investigators will make use of publicly available health and genetic data from the Database of Genotypes and Phenotypes in the United States and the UK Biobank in the United Kingdom, giving them access to data on at least 650,000 individuals.

“We know that high glucose levels present a risk for Type2 diabetes and high cholesterol presents a risk for cardiovascular disease.” … “I’m trying to find genes that affect both cholesterol and glucose, especially those that affect them in opposite directions, contrary to expectations.” – Dr. Klimentidis



  1. http://opa.uahs.arizona.edu/newsroom/news/2018/ua-receives-11m-study-genetic-risk-factors-type-2-diabetes-and-heart-disease