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Approved research

Disentangling the role of insulin resistance in diabetes, cardiometabolic disease and cancer to find new therapeutic targets

Principal Investigator: Dr Amit Majithia
Approved Research ID: 51436
Approval date: May 29th 2019

Lay summary

Diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, fatty liver disease and cancer are the epidemic illnesses of modern life. These diseases often occur together, suggesting a common cause. One common cause is resistance to the effects of insulin (insulin resistance). When measured in the clinic, insulin resistance can strongly predict who will develop these diseases later in life. The causes of insulin resistance are both hereditary (genetic) and environmental (diet and lifestyle). There is only one class of drugs thiazolidinediones (TZDs) that treats insulin resistance, but with serious side effects that prevent their widespread use. If we knew which genes were responsible for changing insulin resistance, new and much needed therapies could be developed. Here we propose to use genetic information from the UKbiobank participants to find people who are genetically protected from insulin resistance and look for the specific genes and mutations that confer this protection. The result of this three year project will be new potential targets for therapeutic development to prevent and treat these epidemic scale chronic diseases.