Biochemistry faculty advance diabetes research

Photo of Judith Simcox
Assistant professor Judi Simcox.

Biochemistry Assistant Professor Judith Simcox is the co-principal investigator on a recently awarded UW2020 Round 6 project. Dudley Lamming, assistant professor of endocrinology, will serve as principal investigator.

Biochemistry professor Alan Attie and Honorary Biochemistry faculty member David Pagliarini are serving as co- investigators on this project.

The awards represent the sixth round of UW2020 funded projects since the initiative was launched by the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Education. The goal of UW2020 is to stimulate and support cutting edge, highly innovative, and groundbreaking research at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the acquisition of shared instruments or equipment that will open new avenues for innovative and significant research. UW2020 is underwritten by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) with combined funding from other sources.

The UW2020 project is titled “Accelerating diabetes and metabolism research at UW–Madison,” and will establish two new innovative research core facilities, including the advanced lipidomics platform directed by Professor Judith Simcox. These facilities will accelerate diabetes and metabolism research at UW–Madison by providing state-of-the-art experimental capacity to support a new Comprehensive Diabetes Center at UW–Madison. Part of the UW2020 award will fund 12 pilot grants on campus to bolster innovative research in diabetes, obesity, and metabolism.

Over 475,000 Wisconsin residents have diabetes, with an additional 1.4 million Wisconsinites over the age of 20 estimated to have pre-diabetes. Diabetes adversely impacts under-represented minorities leading to higher rates and secondary complications. The disease results in estimated healthcare costs exceeding $6 billion per year in Wisconsin.