INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has named two new centers — one dedicated to diabetes research and the other focused on developing imaging methods for the diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease — as 2014 recipients of initial funding under the IUPUI Signature Centers Initiative.
The IUPUI Signature Centers Initiative fosters the development of centers unique to IUPUI that can lead the way in world-class research and creative activities, and make a difference in the real world. The initiative provides each selected center with initial funding for a period of three years. This year’s recipients were selected from a pool of five applications.
The 2014 initial funding recipients are the Indiana Diabetes Research Center, directed by Dr. Raghu Mirmira; and the Research Center for Quantitative Renal Imaging, co-directed by Gary Hutchins and Dr. Bruce Molitoris.
“With the alarming rise in diabetes, the center will play a key role in combatting this disease,” said Mirmira, Lilly Foundation Professor in Pediatric Diabetes at the IU School of Medicine.
The mission of the Research Center for Quantitative Renal Imaging is the development of quantitative imaging methods to diagnose and monitor kidney disease, and the evaluation of therapeutic intervention, said Hutchins, the John W. Beeler Professor of Radiology at the IU School of Medicine.
“The establishment of this center represents a novel resource within the global nephrology and medical imaging communities,” said Molitoris, professor of medicine at the IU School of Medicine.
Currently, there is no comprehensive research center within the United States that is solely dedicated to achieving the center’s mission, he said.
“I am delighted that through the Signature Centers Initiative we have been able to support the realization of these two distinctive centers, both of which aim at making significant contributions to the prevention and cure of debilitating diseases inflicting our society,” said Kody Varahramyan, IUPUI vice chancellor for research.
Indiana Diabetes Research Center
The mission of this center is to foster knowledge, support training, and promote basic and translational research in diabetes and obesity, related metabolic disorders, and their complications. A strong diabetes and obesity research environment are already in place at IUPUI, and the Indiana Diabetes Research Center aims to further build the diabetes research base through:
Establishing a pilot and feasibility program to fund innovative research and to encourage new investigators to enter or establish themselves in the field of diabetes, obesity and metabolism.
Supporting a Diabetes Research Core, which will serve to establish and accelerate the research proposed by recipients of the pilot and feasibility funds.
Supporting an enrichment program to promote education, interdisciplinary interaction and training of all members of the IUPUI diabetes research community.
Research Center for Quantitative Renal Imaging
The mission of this center is to develop, implement and disseminate innovative quantitative imaging methods designed to diagnose kidney disease and evaluate efficacy of therapeutic interventions. The primary goals are to:
Identify, develop and implement innovative imaging methods that provide quantitative imaging biomarkers for assessing and inter-relating renal structure, function, hemodynamics and underlying tissue microenvironmental factors contributing to kidney disease.
Establish an environment that facilitates and encourages interdisciplinary collaborations among investigators; helps advance the research careers of junior faculty; and offers research support to investigators focused on developing and utilizing innovative quantitative imaging methods in support of kidney disease research.
Provide a pilot and feasibility resource to inform the greater research and health care communities of advances in quantitative renal imaging and its potential for enhanced patient management and care.
Offer an imaging research resource to pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers and imaging contrast material companies engaged in product development associated with the diagnosis and treatment of kidney diseases.