They will explore impact of circadian rhythm disruption on type 2 diabetes development.
Millions of individuals worldwide are exposed to shift work and numerous environmental conditions that disturb circadian clock function and disrupt normal circadian rhythms. Environmental conditions associated with disrupted circadian rhythms greatly increase the risk for development of type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome and also hinder the treatment and management of hyperglycemia in existing patients with diabetes.
A new collaboration effort between the New Frontier Science Group at Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Dr. Aleksey Matveyenko at UCLA will undertake studies to better understand how disruption of circadian rhythms globally and at the level of pancreatic beta-cells promotes development of type 2 diabetes and, specifically, loss of pancreatic beta-cell function and mass. This research will provide an enhanced molecular understanding of the relationship between circadian clock disruption, beta-cell dysfunction and loss, and type 2 diabetes that may lead to the development of innovative circadian medicines.
Opened in November 2004, the Larry L. Hillblom Islet Research Center at UCLA is the first center dedicated to the study of the islets of Langerhans, which include the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. An understanding of the causes of islet cell destruction is key to finding a cure for diabetes. The center’s faculty members, recruited from around the world, provide leadership in the worldwide fight against the disease. The center is made possible through a grant from the Larry Hillblom Foundation, established to support medical research in the state of California.