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Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center - Obesity and Diabetes Research Day

University of Kentucky Gatton Student Center


May 21, 2020 at the Gatton Student Center

Each year, researchers from the University of Kentucky and other regional institutes share their current findings and ongoing research about the alarming rise in obesity and diabetes rates at the Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center – Obesity and Diabetes Research Day.

Presenters also discuss prevention and treatment of these epidemic-level diseases.

  • 2019 Speakers

    Desmond Schatz, MDDesmond Schatz, MD 
    Professor and Associate Chairman of Pediatrics
    Medical Director of the Diabetes Institute and Director of the Clinical Research Center within the CTSI 
    University of Florida, Gainesville  
    Title:  Searching for Endotypes: The Heterogeneity of Type 1 Diabetes Can No Longer be Ignored

    Desmond Schatz, MD is Professor and Associate Chairman of Pediatrics, Medical Director of the Diabetes Institute and Director of the Clinical Research Center within the CTSI at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He served as President of Science and Medicine of the American Diabetes Association in 2016.

    Dr. Schatz has been involved in Type 1 diabetes research since the mid 1980’s and has published over 360 manuscripts, the majority related to the prediction, natural history, genetics, immunopathogenesis and prevention of the disease, as well as the management of children and adolescents with Type 1 diabetes. He is the Principal Investigator (PI) on several NIH awards. He is the PI of the University of Florida Clinical Center participating in the NIH-funded TrialNet (a founding member of the DPT-1 in 1994).

    He is co-PI on a Program Project Grant seeking to understand the immunopathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes, and also serve as PI for the NIH-funded international newborn genetic screening (TEDDY) program in North Central Florida. He is the PI on the NIH-funded Human Islet Research Network (HIRN) Grant evaluating novel markers and mechanisms of beta cell destruction. He is the PI of the University of Florida site participating in the Type 1 Diabetes Exchange.  Dr. Schatz has served in numerous capacities (Committees, Study Sections) for the American Diabetes Association, JDRF and NIH.  He serves on the external advisory board for the NIH- and CDC-funded SEARCH and TODAY studies in youth with Type 2 diabetes and on the JDRF-funded Australian INIT II studies.

    He was awarded the Mary Tyler Moore and S Robert Levine JDRF Excellence in Clinical Research Award, the 2009 Cure Award from the American Diabetes Association, the 2010 Public Policy Leadership Award, the prestigious Banting Medal for service from the American Diabetes Association and the ISPAD Prize for achievement (the highest honor of the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescent Diabetes).

    Elizabeth Parks, PhDElizabeth Parks, PhD
    Professor, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
    Associate Director, Clinical Research Center, Institute for Clinical and Translational Science
    University of Missouri at Columbia
    Title:  Mechanisms contributing to the regression of fatty liver disease

    Dr. Parks received her PhD from the University of California, Davis for where she worked with Barbara Schneeman, PhD in the Department of Nutrition. She then became a Postdoctoral Fellow at Berkeley/UCSF in the laboratory of Marc Hellerstein, MD, PhD. Dr. Parks has held academic positions at the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where she collaborated to establish a highly successful research consortium for the study of obesity. In 2013 she moved to the University of Missouri at Columbia, where she is a Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology and in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, both in the School of Medicine. She also serves as Associate Director of the Clinical Research Center in the Medical School's Institute for Clinical and Translational Science.

    The major research contributions of Dr. Parks’ lab emanate from her development of novel techniques to quantitate the delivery and disposal of dietary macronutrients in animal models and in humans. Over the past 20 years, her lab has developed methods using multiple stable isotopes and mathematical modeling to establish a non-steady state model of post-meal metabolism. Using this model she has shown that, in contrast to rodents, a significant amount of meal fat can cycle through the liver in healthy humans and that dietary sugars being made into liver fat, are a significant cause of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The model also includes quantitation of fatty acid flux through the intestine (fat absorption), from the intestine to other tissues, and also from adipose back out to other tissues.

    From a national service perspective, Dr. Parks has held leadership positions in the American Society for Nutrition and the Obesity Society. She is a fellow of the AHA and the Obesity Society and has been a standing member of the NIH grant review committee, Clinical and Integrative Diabetes and Obesity (CIDO) and an NIH ad hoc reviewer and chair of numerous special emphasis committees.  Her current research in humans focuses on how optimizing dietary composition, the timing of food intake, and skeletal muscle metabolism can lead to recovery from fatty liver disease.

    Doug Mashek, PhDDoug Mashek, PhD
    Associate Professor, De Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics
    Department of Medicine, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism
    University of Minnesota
    Title:  Breaking fat: the central role of lipid droplets in cell signaling and metabolic disease etiology

    Douglas G. Mashek, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota.  He has a primary appointment within the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics and a secondary appointment in the Department of Medicine, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism. He obtained degrees from Iowa State University (B.S), Michigan State University (M.S), the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Ph.D) and conducted postdoctoral work at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

    The focus of his research is on understanding lipid metabolism as it relates to the development of metabolic diseases and aging. A major research emphasis is on lipid droplet biology and signaling as a key node in regulating cellular energy metabolism. Additionally, the role of lipid droplet composition and catabolism as an important mediator of the effects of exercise, caloric restriction or fasting are also being studied in Drosophila and mice models as well as several ongoing clinical trials.

  • 2019 Sponsors

    • Barnstable Brown Kentucky Diabetes & Obesity Center
    • The Center of Research in Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease-(P30GM127211) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
    • University of Kentucky, Division of Nutritional Sciences in the Department of Pharmacology & Nutritional Sciences
    • The NIH T32 Training Grant Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences: Multidisciplinary Approaches for Metabolic Disease T32DK007778, Department of Pharmacology and Nutritional Sciences, National Institutes of Health Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Institute