Grant to study metabolic profile of at-risk population

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JOHNSON CITY (May 14, 2014) – An inter-professional faculty group at East Tennessee State University has received a grant from the Tennessee Board of Regents to characterize the metabolic profile of an Hispanic at-risk pediatric population in Northeast Tennessee.

The team includes Dr. W. Andrew Clark from the Department of Allied Health Sciences; Dr. Geri Sokell, Department of Physical Therapy; Dr. Arsham Alamian and Shimin Zheng, Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology; and Dr. Jonathan Peterson and Dr. Effiong Otukonyong, Department of Health Sciences. Clark will serve as principal investigator for the grant.

The grant will allow the research team to identify key and emerging hormones and biomarkers that help predict children at risk for metabolic syndrome, which is a group of factors that increase the long-term possibilities for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

“This research work has never been conducted in Tennessee and will provide important baseline data that can be used for future investigations,” said Dr. Alamian, who leads a Pediatric Metabolic Syndrome Working Group at Johnson City Community Health Center.

This grant makes use of plasma samples and information already planned for collection (from previously awarded grants) from 150 Hispanic children ages two to 10. The aim of the project is to evaluate markers of insulin resistance, appetite deregulation, and chronic inflammation. Investigators will test differences in the levels of selected key emerging hormones in children with and without metabolic syndrome.

Tennessee Board of Regents Diversity Research Grants support faculty research focused on underrepresented and targeted sub-populations.   

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