The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has awarded USC a five-year, $3 million grant to study the impact of environmental chemicals on Type 2 diabetes in young adults.

The study will examine the effects of multiple chemical exposures on glucose metabolism and insulin secretion prior to disease development, a critical period in which interventions have the potential to stop or delay Type 2 diabetes development.

Young-onset Type 2 diabetes is an important public health issue, since it often is unrecognized, responds poorly to treatment, and results in rapid progression circulatory problems. Researchers would like a better understanding of factors that trigger young-onset Type 2 diabetes, especially among Hispanic youth, a minority group with high rates of Type 2 diabetes.

Vaia Lida Chatzi, MD, PhD, associate professor of preventive medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, will lead the project, working with collaborators at USC, Emory University, University of Colorado, Boulder and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

— Leigh Hopper