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Faculty and Staff

Gu Joins A-List Team Tapped to Stop Diabetes

An NC State faculty member is one of six scientific researchers tapped by the American Diabetes Association to join an ambitious effort to combat the pervasive disease. The initiative, called Pathway to Stop Diabetes, will fund the work of more than 100 scientists in the coming decade.

Zhen Gu, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, will receive $1.625 million over five years to accelerate his research to develop an artificial closed-loop system that is able to mimic pancreas activity and release insulin in response to glucose level changes. Also receiving awards this year are researchers at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, the University of Notre Dame, the La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, the University of Colorado, Denver and the University of California, Berkeley.

More than 100 young researchers were nominated for the grants, which were awarded through a competitive process that valued rigorous thought processes, keen intellect, and the capacity for innovation, creativity and productivity.

In a media release, the diabetes association called the recipients “a new generation of brilliant scientists at the peak of their creativity.”

More than 30 million Americans suffer from diabetes, a long-term condition marked by high blood glucose levels. The American Diabetes Association estimates that one in three Americans will suffer from diabetes by 2050 if the current trend continues. The disease can lead to serious health complications, including eye and skin disorders, a type of nerve damage called diabetic neuropathy, high blood pressure and stroke.

Pathway to Stop Diabetes, now in its second year, is sponsored by Sanofi, Novo Nordisk, AstraZeneca and the Eli Lilly and Company Foundation.