HOUSTON – An Indo-American scientist has been awarded a USD 3 million grant for working on treatment of diabetes by using a virus that can reduce glucose level in blood.
The research is based on human adenovirus 36, which causes obesity in humans and animals but also reduces blood sugar. “It’s a little paradoxical, because you have an agent that is making an animal fatter, so you would expect their glucose
levels to deteriorate,” said Dr Nikhil Dhurandhar, a professor and chairman of the Department of Nutritional Sciences at Texas Tech.
hurandhar received almost USD 3 million from Vital Health Interventions. Dhurandhar said that he first noticed this phenomenon years ago in rodents while researching how the virus causes obesity.
Dhurandhar isolated a protein from the virus that is responsible for reducing blood sugar and tested it on diabetic cells and animals. The experiment showed the protein improved diabetes.
The next step for Dhurandhar was to develop a drug that could be tested on humans and could be used to treat diabetes. Dhurandhar, who is president of the Obesity Society, has been studying viral obesity for years, which he started when he was a physician in India focusing on patients with obesity. He holds a number of patents for his work on adenovirus 36.