Today: 12/27/2009
Are You at Risk?
Diabetes Facts

Managing Diabetes
On-Line Management
Type 2 in Children
FAQs about Diabetes
Ask an Educator DAGC Divas

Camp Ho Mita Koda


Dietrich Diabetes Research Institute (DDRI)

Public Policy

For African Americans Materials in Spanish
Professional Ed.
Community Resources


Fundraising Events
Volunteer Now!
Planned Giving
Donor Recognition

AltaVista Translator
Printer Friendly Page
Printer Friendly Page

DAGC Investment in Diabetes Research

  • Over the past 50 years, DAGC has awarded more than $6 million for diabetes research to northeast Ohio research institutions.

    • $1.5 million was awarded in the last 5 years alone.

  • Almost 1/4 of DAGCs current budget is dedicated to funding diabetes research in northeast Ohio

  • In 1998, DAGC was instrumental in the establishment of the $500,000 Kristin C. Dietrich Diabetes Research Award, awarded to Dr. Timothy Kern of Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals for research on the effects of Vitamin E on advanced complications of diabetes

  • DAGC partnered with Case Western Reserve University in the establishment of the Diabetes Research Center at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

  • In 2003, DAGC helped establish the Dietrich Diabetes Research Institute, an independent center of diabetes research in northeast Ohio, to encourage partnerships among local diabetes researchers and to improve awareness, for both health professionals and the public, of recent diabetes research news.

DAGC Diabetes Research Focus

DAGCs research focus is to encourage scientific researchers to dedicate their investigations to diabetes-related issues

In particular, DAGC encourages young researchers to specialize in diabetes research and helps established researchers who wish to shift their research focus to diabetes through a system of summer internships, grants-in-aid and post-doctoral fellowships

  • For almost 20 years, DAGCs Summer Internships in Diabetes Research program has provided promising young students the chance to work with experienced diabetes researchers at some of northeast Ohios premier medical institutions

  • Since DAGCs beginnings over 50 years, ago, the DAGC Grants-In-Aid for Diabetes Research program has consistently funded diabetes research in northeast Ohio medical research institutions - funding over 45 dedicated researchers in the past 15 years alone.

  • Begun in 2003, the DAGC Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Diabetes Research is a 2-year award granted to a promising diabetes researcher at a northeast Ohio medical research institution that provides financial support during the crucial learning/training period for young investigators.

Return to Top of Page

Dietrich Diabetes Research Institute

Founded in 2003, the Dietrich Diabetes Research Institute is an independent, regional diabetes research clearinghouse whose mission is to:

  • Help local research institutions and local researchers to obtain funding for diabetes related research initiatives
  • Aid in the development of partnerships among northeast Ohio research institutions
  • Help people with diabetes understand new research and its affect on their medical care


Return to Top of Page

DDRI Summer Internships in Diabetes Research

The DDRI Summer Internships in Diabetes Research is a unique summer research opportunity designed to give college students (undergraduate, graduate or medical students) first hand experience in diabetes research. For over 20 years, the summer internship program has provided promising young students the chance to work with experienced diabetes researchers at northeast Ohios premier medical institutions. The summer internship program is often a students first exposure to diabetes research and is designed to foster a continuing interest in the field of diabetes research.

Each intern is sponsored by a local diabetes researcher and works closely with his or her sponsor designing and completing a research project in the area of diabetes during their 10-week internship. The interns receive a stipend for living expenses, attend weekly diabetes seminars, spend time at Camp Ho Mita Koda learning about diabetes on a personal level and present their research projects at a DAGC Board of Directors meeting.

For More Information on DDRI Summer Internships
in Diabetes Research Click Here!

Return to Top of Page

DAGC Grants-in-Aid for Diabetes Research

The DAGC Grants-in-Aid for Diabetes Research program provides one year of funding for research projects in all aspects of diabetes. DAGC recently awarded funding for four projects beginning July 1, 2005.

New DAGC Grants-in-Aid 2005:

  • The Role of PPARgamma ligands in neuroprotection following cerebral ischemia
    Sophia Sundararajan, MD, PhD
    Case Western Reserve University

    Thiazolidinediones are drugs that are taken by patients to improve blood glucose in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and target PPARgamma (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma). These drugs have recently been found to reduce inflammation in a variety of diseases. Inflammation is a component of stroke and inflammatory gene expression can increase stroke size. Dr. Sundararajans lab has found that PPARgamma expression is increased after stroke and rats treated with thiazolidinediones have smaller strokes and less inflammatory gene expression. In addition, they suggest that thiazolidinediones work best when given when the blood vessel is still blocked and not after it has been reopened.

    They will 1) test the ability of mice lacking PPARgamma to respond to thiazolidinediones, 2) evaluate how gene expression is altered by thiazolidinediones both in the mice lacking PPARgamma and mice with normal PPARgamma expression, and 3) examine the sequence of events which occur following stroke in both to understand the mechanisms by which thiazolidinediones protect the brain from stoke. Understanding these drugs as potential therapy for stroke will also help make the best decisions regarding which anti-diabetic drug might benefit individual patients with Type 2 diabetes.

  • -Cell failure and the development of non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus: Role of impaired insulin and IGF-1 signaling in -cell dysfunction
    Nadia Rachdaoui, PhD
    Case Western Reserve University

    Dr. Rachdaoui has proposed experiments to study what brings about dysfunction and death to the pancreas. Specifically, she will study 1) how high blood insulin that is observed in obesity negatively influences the ability of the pancreas to make insulin, and 2) how high blood insulin associated with high blood sugar could further accelerate pancreatic deterioration and lead to the development of Type 2 diabetes. If these experiments can determine the basic mechanisms that explain how the pancreas becomes exhausted in some patients, but not in others, it may provide new information about how to prevent failure of the pancreas.

DAGC Grants-in-Aid funded for a second year include:

  • Gene Expression Profile of White Adipose Tissue During Pregnancy and Diabetes
    Sylvie Hauguel-de Mouzon, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor
    Director, Molecular Research Division
    Department of Reproductive Biology
    MetroHealth Medical Center

    Dr. Hauguel-de Mouzon will investigate the mechanisms of insulin resistance in pregnant diabetic women by examining the genes in the mothers fat cells. Comparisons will also be made with the genes expressed in their placenta to identify the metabolic processes that are modified by pregnancy and diabetes. This will allow to explore why babies of diabetic and obese mothers have an increased risk for obesity at birth as well as for developing diabetes later in life.

  • NMR Structural Study of Active Insulin Revealed Protein Interaction with Insulin Receptor
    Yanwu Yang, Ph.D.
    Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry
    School of Medicine
    Case Western Reserve University

    Using the new Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy methods, Dr. Yang's team hopes to determine the three-dimensional structure of an active insulin molecule bound to the insulin receptor (a landmark in the history of diabetes research). The structural comparison between free insulin and active (bound) insulin will provide a footprint of the hormone's receptor-binding surface and may provide new targets for drug treatment of Type I and Type II diabetes.

Return to Top of Page

DAGC Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Diabetes Research

The DAGC Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Diabetes Research provides financial support for 2-years for a promising diabetes researcher at a northeast Ohio medical research institution. The 2005-2006 awardee, Dr. Ling Zheng, PhD, Case School of medicine, is investigating the role of inflammatory processes in the development of diabetic kidney disease.

Current Awardee:

Ling Zheng, Ph.D.
Case School of Medicine

The role of PARP activation in development of diabetic nephropathy

Diabetic nephropathy is a leading cause of mortality in diabetes, and is the leading cause of kidney failure in Europe and the USA. Diabetic nephropathy affects approximately one in three people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, but how it damages the kidneys remains poorly understood.

Dr. Zheng postulated that chronic inflammation might be responsible for the kidney disease in diabetes. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) activation has been demonstrated contribute to cell damage in inflammatory conditions, and has been found to play a critical role in the development of diabetic eye disease by their lab. The goal of the research is to test whether PARP inhibitors can prevent kidney dysfunction in diabetes, and whether inflammatory processes contribute to the development of kidney damage in diabetes.

Return to Top of Page

Kristin C. Dietrich Diabetes Research Award

Awarded in 1998, by Nancy and Richard Dietrich, to honor their daughter, the Kristin C. Dietrich Diabetes Research Award has as its primary purpose the funding of research on the complications of diabetes such as eye disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and heart problems. The winning research proposal, submitted by Dr. Timothy Kern of Case Western Reserve University/University Hospitals, examines the effects of Vitamin E on the progression of both eye and kidney disease in people with diabetes. It is hoped that the research will help their daughter and other people with diabetes be able to continue to enjoy a healthy life until a cure is discovered.

Current Awardee:

Timothy Kern, Ph. D.
Professor of Medicine and Ophthalmology
Case Western Reserve University
School of Medicine

Vitamin E and Advanced Complications of Diabetes

Diabetic retinopathy is a major cause of vision loss and blindness in the United States. In the advanced stages of diabetic retinopathy, the retina is believed to lack oxygen, causing new blood vessels to grow within and above the retina. These new blood vessels are abnormal, grow wildly, leak, and form a scar on the retina that causes vision loss.

Dr. Kerns research focuses on examining mechanisms to hinder the development of diabetic retinopathy. The early research focus found that while Vitamin E helped inhibit the development of early stages of diabetic retinopathy, it did not help in more advanced cases. Several additional therapies that show promise of inhibiting the development of early retinopathy are now being investigated, including therapies to prevent nitric oxide-induced damage to mitochondria and DNA in the retina, and to inhibit the development of diabetic retinopathy by blocking inflammatory processes.

Return to Top of Page

Contact the Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland at:

Phone: Fax: E-Mail:

Diabetes Matters is a trademark of the Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland. All rights reserved.

All information on this website is subject to the DISCLAIMER and PRIVACY POLICY.

A United Way Agency


Diabetes Association of Greater Cleveland