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Dr. Vernon Dolinsky’s work in gestational diabetes has earned him the Allen Rouse Basic Science Career Development Research Award from the Manitoba Medical Service Foundation (MMSF). The Clinical Research Professorship award is valued at $170,000, with an annual salary of $50,000 for three years for the awardee. A $20,000 grant-in-aid during the first year of the appointment has also been awarded.
Promoting basic science research at the University of Manitoba, Dr. Dolinsky’s term begins July 1, 2017, with a guaranteed 75 per cent time commitment towards research. An Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the University of Manitoba, Dr. Dolinsky’s work focuses on the role of gestational diabetes and SIRT3 in the developmental origins of cardiometabolic disease.
Cardiometabolic diseases such as diabetes, fatty liver and heart disease are the fastest growing chronic illnesses in Canada, not only among adult men and women, but also in pregnant women and children. Recent clinical research links the exposure to diabetes during pregnancy to the increased risk of cardiometabolic disease in children. However, there isn’t a clear understanding of how maternal diabetes during pregnancy influences the development of obesity in children.
SIRT3 is an interesting cellular protein because it may mediate the long-term health responses of offspring by directly controlling the use of energy by the body. To help determine how the maternal environment influences the development of obesity in children, Dr. Dolinsky is studying populations of children and their mothers in combination with rodent models of diabetes during pregnancy. This research could be used to develop new therapies that prevent the extensive health and financial burden of cardiometabolic disease in children and future generations.
MMSF has been awarding Research Grants to researchers since 1971, with over $20.6 million provided in support of all awards.
The awards selection committee is comprised of members of the MMSF and representatives from the University of Manitoba. Administrative support is provided by the MMSF and the University of Manitoba.