Reports of research work funded by grants prior to 2012
University of Otago Wellington, School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Isolation and Identification of Gut Derived Proteins and Peptides Post Gastric Bypass Surgery
Over 10 years ago, gastric bypass surgery was recognized by us and others around the world to resolve Type 2 diabetes, when performed in severely obese individuals with diabetes. It has taken many years for this to become accepted, but such now is the acceptance that the International Diabetes Federation released a position statement earlier this year indicating that bariatric surgery should be considered in severely obese individuals with type 2 diabetes. Ten years ago we hypothesized that this resolution came about because of signals coming from that portion of gut which we bypassed in the course of the operation, which either resulted in insulin resistance, or the resolution of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Such a hypothesis was not, until recently, taken seriously, but is now receiving major attention throughout the world. We have believed that by carefully studying the blood taken from individuals immediately before surgery and again six days later, when their insulin resistance and diabetes have resolved, that we should be able to identify the relevant molecules responsible for this critically important phenomenon. The Wellington Medical Research Foundation has supported this research endeavor over a ten year period with a variety of grants-in-aid, at a time when the hypothesis seemed improbable.
This grant-in-aid was awarded to assist our identification of the putative gut derived signals, which we believe are likely to be peptide/protein in nature. The work has been ongoing and will be for some time. The grant has been of considerable assistance to the overall research program. Unfortunately we have not yet identified the precise nature of the signals coming from the gut which result in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, but their existence is beyond doubt. It has become clear further major financial investment will be required to complete the project and this is currently being sought. We are optimistic that a collaboration will soon be agreed with the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) at A*Star in Singapore to forge ahead with the project. Before committing to major funding and effort in this regard, IMCB wish to confirm a number of our most relevant findings using blood samples obtained from us before and after gastric bypass. This work should be completed in the next few months. Providing the support and technical expertise and capability of A*Star can be secured, we are optimistic that success with the project will follow with the identification of the nature of these signals. Such a discovery has the potential to totally change the future management of metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and perhaps even obesity itself.
We are very grateful for the support that has been given the Group for this important, exciting and rather controversial research program over the years. We look forward to obtaining the results before long that will justify the support provided and the confidence expressed in the Group.