Collaborative Pilot and Feasibility Grant Award Recipients

The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center at the University of Iowa and the Institute for Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism at the University of Minnesota are pleased to announce the results of its inaugural round of collaborative pilot and feasibility research grants. These grant awards fund innovative collaborative  pilot projects by investigators at the University of Iowa and the University of Minnesota that support innovative ideas focusing on a new direction in diabetes research, that leverages resources in both institutions. The goal of the program is to generate data that will enable awardees to compete for peer-reviewed multi-PI national funding for projects that show exceptional promise.

A total of 7 collaborative projects were submitted this round that underwent a comprehensive two-stage review. The successful application will receive an award of $80,000 to support their collaborative research proposal, with the possibility for a second year of funding, based on evidence of ongoing productive collaboration and scientific progress. 

2020-2021 Collaborative Pilot and Feasibility Grant Recipients

Eric Taylor, PhD

Associate Professor of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics
University of Iowa

Douglas Mashek, PhD

Professor of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biophysics
University of Minnesota

Project: Defining the Role of Lipid Droplets- Mitochondria Interactions

The proposal seeks to understand differences in spatiotemporal metabolism within cells. Both laboratories have observed the existence of metabolically different populations of mitochondria, which are defined based upon their interactions with lipid droplets. The project proposes to determine how lipid droplets and mitochondrial interactions impact lipid and carbohydrate metabolism. They will employ metabolite flux analysis on peri-droplet versus cytosolic mitochondria in relation to flux analysis in other lipid droplets. They will also use proximity labeling proteomics approaches to identify novel proteins that mediate lipid droplet and mitochondrial interactions. The studies will advance the understanding of changes in subcellular metabolic compartmentalization in the pathophysiology of obesity, diabetes and fatty liver disease.

Congratulations to Eric Taylor and Douglas Mashek!

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