AU Boshell Diabetes Research Day bringing together top scientists

AUBURN – Auburn University will host its first annual Boshell Diabetes Research Day on March 14 at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center, featuring some of the nation’s top diabetes researchers.

“We are bringing together experts from around the United States to present the latest research related to diabetes and the role of obesity in its development,” said Robert Judd, the Boshell Chair in Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases at AU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “We will have oral presentations and scientific posters from a number of Auburn faculty as well as from other institutions, including UAB and Vanderbilt.”

Keynote speaker Philipp E. Scherer, director of the Touchstone Diabetes Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, will present “Pathophysiology of Adipose Tissue and Beta Cells in Obesity and Diabetes” at 10 a.m. Philip Wood, director of the division of genomics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, will speak on “Understanding Obesity-Related Diseases: A Harbinger of Type 2 Diabetes” during a banquet at 6:30 p.m. Oral presentations will be highlighted with a plenary lecture from Alyssa Hasty of Vanderbilt University, who will present “Dietary and Plasma Lipids: Impact on Adipose Tissue Inflammation.”

Diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or cannot properly utilize it. This makes it difficult for blood sugar to enter the body’s cells, and if left untreated, it can lead to blindness, kidney failure, stroke, amputations and the increased risk of cardiovascular disease. It is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Twenty-one AU faculty are part of Auburn’s Boshell Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Research Program that was established by the Diabetes Trust Fund in 2003 to honor the late Buris R. Boshell. He was a 1947 AU agriculture graduate who attended the AU veterinary college for two years before transferring to Harvard Medical School. He served on the faculty of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center and was instrumental in establishing its Diabetes Research and Education Hospital. He also built the Boshell Diabetes and Endocrine Center in Birmingham.

At Auburn, funds generated by the Boshell endowment enhance the university’s research efforts to improve the lives of people as well as pets, which are also susceptible to diabetes, through investigation into the causes and treatment of diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

More information about the Boshell Diabetes Research Day is available at http://www.vetmed.auburn.edu/index.pl/research_day_2008, or by contacting Judd at (334) 844-5416 or juddrob@auburn.edu, or Kevin Huggins at 844-3296 or huggikw@auburn.edu.

Contact: Robert Judd, (334) 844-5416 (juddrob@auburn.edu), or
Charles Martin, (334) 844-9999 (marticd@auburn.edu)