UC Dominates White House’s Science Awards

    Six UC researchers were honored with the Presidential Early
    Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers at a White House ceremony on Nov. 1,
    making University of California the recipient of more awards than any other

    John Marburger III, President George W. Bush’s science adviser
    and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy,
    presented the honors to 58 scientists and engineers. The awards recognize
    exceptional leadership potential at the outset of the recipient’s professional
    scientific career.

    The award, established in 1996, includes research funding
    for a maximum of five years to support critical government missions. It is the
    highest honor the U.S. government bestows on scientists and engineers beginning
    their independent careers. Recipients are nominated annually by nine federal
    departments and agencies.

    UCSD’s Brian Keating, assistant professor of physics, and
    Katerina Akassoglou, assistant professor of pharmacology, were among this
    year’s award recipients for their work in astrophysics and molecular and
    cellular mechanisms, respectively.

    “We take great pride in the University of California
    scholars who have been recognized by these awards,” UC President Robert C.
    Dynes said in a press release. “They are making valuable contributions to
    scientific discovery in an exciting range of fields, and we look forward with
    great anticipation to their continued accomplishments.”

    Inflammation Leads to Diabetes, Not Obesity

    A recent study conducted by researchers at the UCSD School
    of Medicine found that inflammation provoked by immune cells called macrophages
    causes insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes. The discovery may break ground
    in novel drug development to fight the epidemic of Type 2 diabetes associated
    with obesity.

    It has been theorized in recent years that chronic,
    low-grade tissue inflammation related to obesity, the world’s most prevalent
    metabolic disease, contributes to insulin resistance, the major cause of Type 2
    diabetes. The research, which utilizes mouse models, proved that disabling the
    macrophage inflammatory pathway prevents insulin resistance and the resultant
    Type 2 diabetes.

    The findings of the research team, led by Michael Karin,
    professor of pharmacology, and Jerrold Olefsky, distinguished professor of
    medicine and associate dean for scientific affairs, will be published as the
    feature article in the Nov. 7 issue of Cell Metabolism.

    “Our research shows that insulin resistance can be
    disassociated from the increase in body fat associated with obesity,” Olefsky
    said in a press release. “We aren’t suggesting that obesity is healthy, but
    indications are promising that, by blocking the macrophage pathway, scientists
    may find a way to prevent the Type 2 diabetes not linked to obesity and fatty

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