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Exeter researcher receives grant to investigate genes in type 2 diabetes

A grant of more than £360,000 has been awarded to a researcher who plans to further investigate possible links between genes and type 2 diabetes.
Dr Hanieh Yaghootkar, who works at the University of Exeter Medical School, has received the prestigious RD Lawrence Fellowship. It was set up by Diabetes UK in 1976 to recognise the life and work of the late Dr Robert Daniel Lawrence, who co-founded the charity.
The Exeter researcher will spend the £362,337 grant money on looking at whether type 2 diabetes can be prevented by certain genes.
She will also investigate how some genes can influence the way fat is stored in the body. This, she hopes, will help her to understand why some obese people never develop type 2 diabetes and some do.
Earlier this month, Wayne State University, based in Detroit, Michiga, received a £400,000 grant from the Department of Defense for similar research.
Yaghootkar said: “I am extremely honoured to receive the RD Lawrence Fellowship from Diabetes UK. I’m very much looking forward to getting my research underway.
“I hope that finding genes involved in reducing the risk of type 2 will provide useful insights into how to treat or prevent the condition in the future.”
Yaghootkar began her medical career in Iran before moving to Exeter, and hopes that as a researcher in genetics she will be able to determine the root causes of other medical disorders.
The RD Lawrence Fellowship is available to applicants who are in the early stages of their research career. Dr RD Lawrence was best known for becoming one of the early recipients of insulin injections after he was diagnosed with diabetes in 1920. He then devoted his professional life to helping people with diabetes.

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