An $11.3 million dollar research grant has been awarded the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to study the causes of obesity and the diseases it spawns.
UNL Chancellor Harvey Perlman announced the grant award made by the National Institutes of Health during a news conference on the Lincoln campus. It is a five-year grant which will expand the research being done by the Nebraska Center for the Prevention of Obesity Diseases through Dietary Molecules.
“This five-year award recognizes the strong research programs that UNL has built to address one of the greatest health challenges facing the nation: obesity and obesity-related diseases,” Perlman said during the news conference.
Researchers believe that addressing obesity at the molecular level is the key to curbing what has become a national epidemic.
The long-term goal is to become a leader in nutrient signaling and the prevention of obesity and obesity-related diseases, which would include non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes, according to center director Janos Zempleni, Willa Cather Professor of molecular nutrition in the Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences.
The University of Nebraska Medical Center will collaborate in the research.
Perlman said the award is a confirmation of the university’s research.
“The center is a significant expansion of our capabilities in biomedical research. Our researchers focus on what is happening at the molecular level in obesity-related diseases,” Perlman said. “This is the kind of innovative research which attracts funding and impacts our lives.”