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Emory and partners receive NIH funding to establish collaborative diabetes research center

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Emory University received an approximately $2.5 million grant from The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease for the establishment of the Georgia Diabetes Translation Research Center (GDTRC). The center is a partnership among Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health, School of Medicine, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, and Goizueta Business School, along with Georgia Institute of Technology and Morehouse School of Medicine.

"The establishment of this center will offer a valuable opportunity to increase diabetes research within the state of Georgia as well as also expand the investigator base and educational activities relevant to diabetes," explains K.M. Venkat Narayan, MD, MSc, principle investigator of the award and professor in the Hubert Department of Global Health at Rollins School of Public Health.

"The growth in prevalence and absolute numbers of people with diabetes has far exceeded statistical projections. We are happy to work with our partner institutions, Georgia Tech and Morehouse, along with collaborators at Georgia State University and the Atlanta VA, to aggressively address some of the factors that have led to this increase."

The GDTRC offers translation research cores such as design and evaluation; engagement and behavior change, and disparities. It is designed to answer the need to close remaining gaps in diabetes detection, prevention, and care while remaining responsive to the changing profile of the US diabetes population.

"This center gathers together the needed expertise from Emory, Georgia Tech and Morehouse to effectively integrate interdisciplinary approaches that span clinical care, technology innovation and community engagement," describes Elizabeth Mynatt, PhD, executive director of Georgia Tech’s Institute for People and Technology and co-principal investigator for the design and evaluation core. "It is imperative that we investigate new approaches that address growing disparities in diabetes care and outcomes."

The GDTRC will address specific barriers in diabetes prevention and control such as the improvement in the proportion of people with undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes, engagement in diabetes prevention improvement in control of young adults, and disenfranchised populations with diabetes.

Addressing the diabetes epidemic, through targeted translational research is central, not only to advancing health improvements in underserved communities, but improving the health of our state, at large. I am pleased that our institution is a central collaborator in the work of the Georgia Center for Diabetes Translational Research as it is aligned with our vision to lead in the creation and advancement of health equity," states Valerie Montgomery Rice, MD, president and dean of the Morehouse School of Medicine.

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