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ECU student's research receives award
(Apr. 4, 2008) — Dan Kane, a student in East Carolina University’s bioenergetics PhD program, has received recognition from the American Physiological Society’s Environmental and Exercise Physiology Section for his research that will help to prevent and treat diabetes and diseases associated with it.
Kane, of Adrian, Michigan, received the pre-doctoral award for his research that tracks how an anti-diabetic drug, Metformin, attenuates free radical development in skeletal muscle tissue. The researchers discovered that the insulin-resistant, untreated rats had over twice the free radical production in their skeletal muscle than the non-insulin resistant rats; and that the Metformin treatment reduced the free radical production.
“Metformin is one of the most prescribed drugs to treat diabetes, yet its mechanism of action is unknown,” said Ronald N. Cortright, an ECU professor who received grants from the National Institutes of Health to conduct the research. “The results provide directions for future research aimed at the prevention and treatment of diabetes and related metabolic diseases on the rise in eastern North Carolina as well as the rest of the nation.”
Kane was one of the lead researchers on this project, and he works closely with Cortright and P. Darrell Neufer, associate professors in the departments of Exercise and Sport Science, College of Health and Human Performance and Physiology at the Brody School of Medicine. The researchers also made use of a new method to look at the free radical production in skeletal muscle, recently developed by Neufer and fellow ECU researcher Ethan Anderson.
Kane is in his second year in the Bioenergetics PhD program, housed in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science in the College of Health and Human Performance. He will present his findings in April 2008 at the Annual Meeting of Experimental Biology in San Diego, CA.
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