Updated March 24 at 12:29am

UMass professor receives $616K grant for diabetes study

Lamya Karim, an assistant professor of bioengineering at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, has been awarded a $616,170 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how Type 2 diabetes weakens bones and results in patients being at much greater risk for fractures.

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UMass professor receives $616K grant for diabetes study

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DARTMOUTH – Lamya Karim, an assistant professor of bioengineering at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, has been awarded a $616,170 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how Type 2 diabetes weakens bones and results in patients being at much greater risk for fractures.

The grant is the largest-ever single NIH grant and the first NIH Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award to a UMass Dartmouth principal investigator, according to a news release from the university.

“Skeletal fragility in patients with type 2 diabetes is a rapidly growing public health risk,” Karim said in a statement. “The causes of diabetic skeletal fragility are largely unknown, which makes it difficult for clinicians to make decisions regarding fracture prevention and medical care in this population. Our goal is to determine the underlying causes of diabetic skeletal fragility. The results will provide a better understanding of how the bones become weak, and may aid in the development of assessing risk and treating diabetic patients susceptible to fractures.”

Type 2 diabetics are about three times as likely to break a bone than non-diabetics.

Type 2 diabetes results in up to $245 billion in health care costs annually in the United States, and diabetes rates in the U.S. are predicted to increase up to five times by the year 2050.

Bristol County, where UMass Dartmouth is located, has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the state.

In Massachusetts, approximately 18 percent of adults over 65 have type 2 diabetes, and about 50 percent are pre-diabetic.

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