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USC researchers present diabetes findings at American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions

New Orleans, LA June 4, 2009---Researchers from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California will present new findings at the American Diabetes Association's scientific sessions June 5 9 in New Orleans, LA.

Keck School of Medicine of USC faculty, students and post-doctoral fellows will present sessions including helping diabetes patients avoid "post exercise hypoglycemia," the role of pancreatic beta cells in the progression of diabetes, and how the body becomes aware of low blood sugar. The presentations comprise four symposium lectures, 11 poster presentations, 10 oral presentations and three late-breaking poster presentations.

Researchers are available at the meeting to discuss their findings and provide expert commentary on diabetes research.


Anne Peters, M.D., professor of medicine and director, USC Westside Center for Diabetes will discuss her research on the management of diabetes treatment, the role of exercise in treatment of diabetes, and patients' vulnerability to post-exercise hypoglycemia.

Peters will discuss recommendations and guidelines including how long diabetes patients should exercise, what type of exercise is most beneficial, and timing medication to avoid a precipitous drop on blood sugar following workouts. The symposium will take place on Saturday, June 6 (Session: Fueling the Serious Athlete, Guidelines/Recommendations for the Prevention and Treatment of Exercise and Post-Exercise Induced Hypoglycemia).

Pancreatic Beta Cell Mass in Development of Diabetes

Tom Buchanan, M.D., professor of medicine, associate dean for clinical research, chief, division of endocrinology and diabetes, and program director for the General Clinical Research Center will discuss his research on the role of pancreatic beta cell mass in the regulation of blood sugar, and whether it is possible to modulate beta cell mass to prevent type 2 diabetes.

Buchanan will discuss lessons learned from studying risk of type 2 diabetes in Hispanic women who previously had diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) and whether early treatment can help preserve beta cell mass to prevent progression to type 2 diabetes. The symposium will take place on Saturday, June 6 (Session: Beta Cell Mass Adaptive Responses to Metabolic Demand; How Do Beta Cells Respond to Increased Demand in People? Lessons from Pregnancy, Gestational Diabetes, and the Evolution of Type 2 Diabetes).


Casey Donovan, Ph.D., professor of kinesiology and biology, will discuss his research on the role of the brain and the portal vein in sensing and regulating low blood sugar.

Building on his research that determined the portal vein connecting the pancreas and liver has glucose sensors that alert the body to low blood sugar, Donovan will talk about different ways the portal vein sensors may connect to or signal the brain to respond to hypoglycemia. The symposium will take place on Sunday, June 7 (Session: Beyond the Hypothalamus Other Sites Involved in Sensing and Responding to Recurrent Hypoglycemia; Peripheral vs. Central Sensors Importance of Rate of Glucose Drop).


Richard Watanabe, Ph.D., associate professor of preventive medicine, will discuss genome-wide association studies for type 2 diabetes and related traits focusing on genetic variants in genes involving the pancreatic beta cell.

Such genetic changes may result in diabetes. Next steps in genetic research, follow-up on initial findings, and the relation of certain genes to beta cells will be discussed. The symposium will take place on Monday, June 8 (Session: Diabetes Maps to the Beta Cell: Where Do We Go from Genome-Wide Association Studies? Overview of Genome-Wide Association Studies, Implications for the Beta Cell and the Melatonin Receptor).


Contact: Leslie Ridgeway
University of Southern California

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