February 24, 2016

Two researchers at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health have received funding from the National Institutes of Health for a collaborative grant to examine the incidence and prevalence of diabetes in youth and young adults in India and the United States.

Currently, diabetes affects nearly 29 million people in the United States and more than 62 million people in India, placing these nations second and third in the world in terms of population burden of the disease.

Christina Shay

Christina Shay

Dr. Elizabeth Mayer-Davis

Dr. Elizabeth Mayer-Davis

Elizabeth Mayer-Davis, PhD, Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Nutrition and Medicine and department chair, and Christina Shay, PhD, assistant professor, both work in the Department of Nutrition at the Gillings School. Mayer-Davis is the co-Primary Investigator for the grant, and Shay is a co-investigator.

The project will take place over two years, and will involve researchers at the University of Colorado and partners at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi. The work in India will be funded collaboratively via the Indian Council of Medical Research.

The first step the grant team has planned is the establishment of U.S.-India collaborative research partnerships on diabetes research to investigate how the countries can best work in tandem to reduce the impact of the disease.

Another key goal involves analyzing, harmonizing and possibly expanding the Indian Registry of People with Diabetes with Young Age at Onset (YDR) and the U.S. SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth registry (SEARCH) so they become useful for comparing the epidemiologic characteristics of diabetes in youth across the two countries.

Once the registries have been made compatible, the researchers will compare the international data to improve understanding of clinical presentation, treatment patterns and evolution of diabetes in youth and to compare the burden of diabetes in youth by age, sex, race/ethnicity and diabetes type.

“The work of this grant will be a springboard for new collaborations to address the ever-increasing problem of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in India and the United States,” says Mayer-Davis. “Harmonizing the registries is a critical step toward building our capacity to understand larger global trends.”


Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu


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