Researchers from the University of North Carolina and Northwestern University Medical School win prestigious Pathway to Stop Diabetes grants to advance diabetes research

ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 31, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, the American Diabetes Association® (ADA) announced the two winners of the Pathway to Stop Diabetes® (Pathway) grants, a five-year grant to support breakthroughs in translational science, clinical science, technology, care, and potential cures in the field of diabetes.
The first grant recipient is Anna Kahkoska, MD, PhD, an assistant professor at the Department of Nutrition in the Gillings School of Global Public Health and adjunct assistant professor with the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She received the Pathway grant for her research, Fusing rapid-cycle testing and adaptive interventions: A scientific pipeline to translate and individualize evidence-based psychosocial and behavioral interventions in routine type 1 diabetes care, which investigates how to integrate and tailor evidence-based mental health resources and interventions into routine patient care for people living with type 1 diabetes.
“Psychological well-being is foundational for reaching treatment goals in type 1 diabetes, and interventions that support behavioral and psychosocial aspects of living with diabetes are a critical aspect of providing comprehensive, person-centered care,” said Dr. Kahkoska. “The Pathway award will allow me to build a scientific pipeline to translate interventions from research settings to the clinic and individualize them to meet each patient’s unique needs.”
The second grant recipient is Lisa Beutler, MD, PhD of Northwestern University Medical School for her research, Dissecting sugar-induced modulation of gut-brain circuits, which seeks to understand how sugar consumption alters the connection between the gut and the brain, and how this may link to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
“Excessive sugar intake is clearly linked with the development of diabetes and obesity, but the mechanisms underlying this association are not completely understood,” said Dr. Beutler. “I want to determine how what we eat alters the activity of brain centers that control appetite and blood glucose at single-cell resolution. This will allow us to understand how certain diets promote the development of diabetes and obesity by disrupting neural activity. Ultimately we hope this will lead to better treatments for obesity and its complications, including type 2 diabetes.”
The Pathway program provides funding and support not only for research, but for promising young innovators who are sparking momentum to benefit diabetes patient care. The ADA is proud to support these individuals and their potential to change the face of diabetes care since 2014.
“Supporting researchers is vital to our mission at the ADA. Their contributions lead to improved diabetes care and technology, as well as the discovery of possible cures,” said Charles “Chuck” Henderson, CEO of the ADA. “Our Pathway to Stop Diabetes grants create an environment of success for awardees and provides them with the autonomy, resources, and guidance needed to pioneer the next historic advancement in diabetes care. Congratulations to Drs. Beutler and Kahkoska. The ADA is honored to support their important work.”
To learn about past and current Pathway award recipients, visit Pathway to Stop Diabetes.
About Pathway to Stop Diabetes
The Pathway to Stop Diabetes program is a revolutionary grant designed to transform diabetes research by attracting innovative scientists, physicians, and researchers through financial support and professional mentorship. Since the program’s inception in 2014, 34 scientists have been selected and 100 percent have secured their first independent faculty positions, 46 invention disclosures and patent applications have been filed, 16 start-ups have been launched, and over 233 manuscripts have been published in peer-reviewed journals by Pathway awardees. After a pause in the program due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ADA is proud to renew the program and continue fostering new leadership and medical breakthroughs for diabetes research.
Pathway awardees are selected by the ADA’s Mentor Advisory Group—eminent scientists who review the core elements of exceptional science in selecting an awardee: rigorous though processes, keen intellect, and capacity for innovation, creativity, and productivity. The advisors also provide the Pathway awardees with mentorship and scientific and professional guidance throughout the duration of their grant.
About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For 82 years, the ADA has driven discovery and research to treat, manage, and prevent diabetes while working relentlessly for a cure. Through advocacy, program development, and education we aim to improve the quality of life for the over 133 million Americans living with diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Spanish Facebook (Asociación Americana de la Diabetes), LinkedIn (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn), and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).
Contact: Rebecca Fisher, 703-253-4918
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SOURCE American Diabetes Association
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