According to Diabetes Canada, 2015 saw roughly 3.4 million people in Canada develop diabetes, and that number is said to rise to five million by 2025.
Dr. Sarah Gray, an associate professor with the UBC Northern Medical Program, is looking for a better way to treat type 2 diabetes, which is the most common form.
The project will take two years, and has received $198,743 in funding from the Government of Canada’s New Frontiers in Research Fund, which includes three federal funding agencies.
“This project was all about seeing if we could find a new way to deliver anti-diabetic drugs just to the fat or adipose tissue where the good things about the drug could happen,” said Gray.
“Fat, or adipose tissue, plays an important role in keeping our metabolism running smoothly. In obesity, this tissue increases and also becomes dysfunctional, leading to complications such as type 2 diabetes.”
She adds that anti-diabetic drugs are generally taken as a pill, but that means it goes throughout the entire body and could have negative side effects on the kidneys, heart, or bones.
Gray will be working closely with Dr. Urs Häfeli, a Professor in the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of British Columbia who develops novel drug delivery tools.
Graduate students from both UNBC and UBC will get training opportunities from this project.