Distinguished Scientists Gather to Share Diabetes Research
and Highlight Recent Accomplishments in the Area
of Diabetes at Annual UMDNJ Research Symposium
NEWARK — Diabetes is a burgeoning epidemic that already affects an estimated 20 million people in the United States.
A successful fight against diabetes is contingent upon discovering the basis of this disease, and the best chance for such discovery is through a range of collaborative scientific research.
That was the emphasis of The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey’s 2007 Annual Research Symposium, “Diabetes: Current Research in the Basic, Clinical and Epidemiological Sciences.”
“By identifying diabetes as a critical health issue in need of focused research, UMDNJ is working to fulfill its mission as a state-wide asset for the people of New Jersey,” said UMDNJ President Dr. William F. Owen in remarks to the gathering.
The day-long event was held today at the UMDNJ Delta Dental Educational Conference Center, New Jersey Dental School. It was sponsored by The UMDNJ Council of Research Deans and The Office of the UMDNJ Vice President for Research.
“This seminar reflects our commitment at UMDNJ to the growing epidemic of diabetes and obesity in our surrounding communities that need innovative ideas, action plans, and new therapies to improve the lives of those who suffer from such diseases,” said Dr. William Gause, Senior Associate Dean for Research at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School.
“We anticipate that this program will provide investigators and clinicians with a common set of goals and objectives to seed future research collaborations in this vitally important field of research,” he added.
The symposium began at 8:30 a.m. with a welcome from Dr. Owen. Dr. Louis Amoroso, Professor of Medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, followed with his introduction, “Envisioning a New Jersey Diabetes Public Health System.”
There were three sessions featuring a total of 14 speakers from across the UMDNJ campuses.
- Dr. Louis Amoroso, Professor of Medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School;
- Dr. David Bleich, Associate Professor of Medicine at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School;
- Dr. Joshua Berlin, Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School;
- Dr. Vanessa Routh, Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School;
- Dr. Hong Ruan, Assistant Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School;
- Dr. Barry Levin, Professor of Neurology & Neurosciences at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School;
- Dr. Stephen Schneider, Professor of Medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School;
- Dr. David Rich, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at UMDNJ-School of Public Health;
- Dr. Monique Roy, Professor of Ophthalmology at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School;
- Dr. Leonard Pogach, Professor of Medicine at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and Director at the Center for Healthcare Knowledge Management DVA NJ Health Care System in East Orange, NJ;
- Dr. Xinhua Chen, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology at UMDNJ-School of Osteopathic Medicine;
- Dr. Melissa Scollan-Koliopoulos, Assistant Professor of Graduate Studies UMDNJ-School of Nursing;
- Dr. Jesse Crosson, Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School;
- and Dr. Chin-Lin Tseng, Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine & Community Health at UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and Biostatistician, DVA NJ Health Care System in East Orange, NJ.
The first session focused on basic science. Among the topics were brain glucose sensing; how alterations in brain signaling might lead to obesity; how fat cells communicate with other organs and generate inflammatory signals that cause diabetes; and the effect of high blood sugar on adrenal gland function.
The next session focused on clinical research. Topics ranged from the effect of air pollution and poverty on diabetes to nutritional aspects of diabetes management.
The final session focused on health care outcomes and epidemiology. Among the topics were diabetes and pregnancy; the family heritage of diabetes and its legacy; and using health care information to improve diabetes care in the primary care setting.
Participants’ preliminary findings from on-going research and published study results both were featured among the lectures, poster presentations, discussions, and papers.
Dr. Elizabeth Walker, Professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Population Health and Director of the Prevention and Control Division of the Diabetes Research and Training Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, wrapped up the event by addressing behavioral interventions to improve diabetes care and outcomes.
The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) is the nation’s largest free-standing public health sciences university with more than 5,700 students attending the state's three medical schools, its only dental school, a graduate school of biomedical sciences, a school of health related professions, a school of nursing and a school of public health on five campuses. Annually, there are more than two million patient visits at UMDNJ facilities and faculty practices at campuses in Newark, New Brunswick/Piscataway, Scotch Plains, Camden and Stratford. UMDNJ operates University Hospital, a Level I Trauma Center in Newark, and University Behavioral HealthCare, a statewide mental health and addiction services network.