BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — UAB will host a Q&A session with Dr. Anath Shalev, director of UAB’s Comprehensive Diabetes Center, about her groundbreaking diabetes research published in the journal Cell Metabolism that has potential as a future treatment for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Shalev’s research team at UAB and Southern Research discovered a new drug candidate that offers a major advance in the treatment  for diabetes.

The drug has been tested on isolated human and mouse pancreatic islets, the place where the hormones insulin and glucagon are made. It also has been tested on mouse and rat cell cultures and animal models of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

The UAB and Southern Research researchers found that the experimental drug significantly improved four problems caused by diabetes: 

  • Levels of blood sugar that are too high; 
  • Too high levels of the hormone glucagon, which exacerbates the too-high level of blood sugar; 
  • Excessive production of glucose by the liver; and 
  • Fatty liver, known as hepatic steatosis.

The preclinical studies led by Shalev suggest that Drug SRI-37330 could be beneficial in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, including both lean and obese individuals. Also, diabetes appears to be a significant contributor to sickness and death in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

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