VU researchers land $1.2M NIH grant to study bariatric surgery

Vanderbilt University researchers have received a two-year $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the metabolic and hormonal changes caused by bariatric surgery.

The announcement of the grant, made Thursday, follows NIH’s renewing its contract, announced in September (read here), with the Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program to allow the latter to continue work as one of the nation’s Vaccine and Treatment Evaluation Units.

Bariatric surgery is currently the only known effective treatment for severe obesity and type 2 diabetes in humans.

Understanding the cellular, molecular and genetic bases for the metabolic changes that result in the use of a mouse model could potentially lead to improved pharmaceutical treatments and surgical techniques, according to the study’s principal investigator, Dr. Roger Cone, the Joe C. Davis chair in biomedical science and chair of the VU Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics.

“The reason it’s important to work in the mouse is that it allows us to use state-of-the-art genetic technologies to understand the mechanism of bariatric surgery,” Cone (pictured) said in the release.