PROVIDENCE – Brown University biochemist Wolfgang Peti has received a five-year, $1.625 million New to Diabetes Research Accelerator Award. The award, announced Jan. 9 by the American Diabetes Association, is one of only five of its kind awarded by the ADA this year, and will allow Peti to grow his research into type 2 diabetes.
The awards are given to scientists who are new to the study of diabetes, in an effort to bring in new talent to a challenging field brimming with accomplished researchers.
Peti, whose grandmother fought diabetes for the last decades of her life, hopes to bring the days of insulin injections to an end.
“The easiest thing would be if you have type 2 diabetes instead of injecting insulin, you’d just take a tablet,” Peti said. “If you can control the insulin-signaling pathway with a drug, that would make your life much easier.”
Other scientists of considerable renown have pursued the same aim before. Peti will be aided by a powerful NMR magnet purchased by Brown last year that allows him to study the dynamic motions of proteins as well as their basic structure.
Such research, Peti hopes, could lead to a drug that shuts off insulin signaling. He has been working with Nicholas Tonks of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, to begin characterizing such a drug.