A local medical school has joined an exclusie group of institutions funded by the National Institutes of Health to expand their study of diabetes. Houston Public Radio’s Jack Williams reports.
Baylor College of Medicine is now the only institution in Texas designated by the NIH as a Diabetes and Endocrinology Center, joining a network of only 16 other institutions nationwide. The designation could mean up to a million dollars a year over five years in research funding to expand the study of diabetes, but Baylor College of Medicine President and CEO Dr. Peter Traber says it’s more than just money.
“It will bring a lot of additional funding into the region, additional focus, new programs such as outreach programs into the community, new education programs. It will actually touch people in the community in a variety of ways. So this raises the image of the Diabetes Center but also diabetes in the disease.”
Baylor College of Medicine’s research will focus mostly on diabetes issues directly related to our area, with high incidences of the disease in Africa-Americans and Hispanic residents in Southeast Texas. Dr. Lawrence Chan will serve as director of the center and says the extra money will allow for expanded research.
“The money is used mostly to support and enhance diabetes research, either by new investigators who have never done a lot of research or established investigators who have been working in other areas. For example, somebody might be working on kidney disease not related to diabetes but with this funding, if that person wants to do work on kidney disease resulting from diabetes, we will fund them.”
The 17 NIH Diabetes and Endocrinology Centers include Columbia University, Yale University and UCLA.