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$1.4M funding supports new diabetes research chair


Sherbrooke, QC – The Université de Sherbrooke has announced the creation of a research chair on the causes of type 2 diabetes in order to focus on preventive measures and early treatment.

Through a partnership between pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Université de Sherbrooke, the chair’s activities are supported by a $1 million endowment and a matching grant of $375,000 over a five-year period.

Dr André Carpentier, a professor with the Department of Endocrinology in the Faculté de medicine et des sciences de la santé and world-renowned researcher, has been named chairholder of the CIHR/GSK Chair of Diabetes. Dr Carpentier will conduct both fundamental and clinical research to specifically study the role of fatty foods in the triggering and development of the disease.

“Various physiopathological mechanisms are responsible for type 2 diabetes,” he says. “I am especially interested in lipotoxicity, which is the poor management of fatty foods in the lean tissues. The way that certain people metabolize fatty foods, for example, by directing them to certain organs, likely results in the onset of diabetes and cardiovascular complications.”

Dr Carpentier is also a researcher with the Étienne-Lebel Clinical Research Centre at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Sherbrooke (CHUS).

The work undertaken within the scope of the chair will yield a better understanding of the regulation of carbohydrates, lipids and energy metabolism, as well as the role white and brown fatty [adipose] tissues play in disease development. Dr Carpentier will also investigate the mechanisms of heart failure in diabetics and explore the antidiabetic mechanisms of bariatric surgery.