Searle grant funds Gupta's obesity research

By Remekca Owens 

Dr. Rana Gupta has been named a 2013 Searle Scholar and awarded a three-year, $300,000 grant to support his research in UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research.

Dr. Rana Gupta
Dr. Rana Gupta

Dr. Gupta, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, is one of 15 researchers selected recently from among 176 applicants nationwide. He is the 10th Searle Scholar from UT Southwestern to date.

In selecting the Scholars, the Searle Scholars Program’s Scientific Advisory Board looked for early-career scientists engaged in innovative, potentially cutting-edge research.

“Dr. Gupta has had a consistent track record of high-impact research and high-impact publications, both during his Ph.D. and during his postdoctoral time,” said Dr. Philipp Scherer, Professor of Internal Medicine and Cell Biology and Director of the Touchstone Diabetes Center. “As an independent investigator, he has developed an extremely promising research program that will help us better understand the basic mechanisms underlying the pathological changes associated with obesity.” 

Dr. Gupta researches how adipose tissue stem cells are formed and regulated in normal development and in obese individuals, which in turn will provide direction on how to manipulate these tissue cells. The ultimate research goal is to use understanding of adipocyte development to create novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of obesity and metabolic diseases.

The Touchstone Diabetes Center was established in 1999 and is devoted to the study of cells and tissues that either contribute to or are affected by diabetes and related diseases. The study of adipose tissue physiology is one of its focus areas.

Before Dr. Gupta joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2012, he was awarded the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award in 2007 and the National Institutes of Health Mentored Career Development Award in 2010.

The funds that support the Searle Scholars Program come from trusts established under the wills of John G. and Frances C. Searle. Mr. Searle was President of G.D. Searle & Co., a research-based pharmaceutical company. Since its establishment in 1980, the program has named 512 Searle Scholars and awarded more than $106 million in research grants.

Dr. Scherer holds the Gifford O. Touchstone, Jr. and Randolph G. Touchstone Distinguished Chair in Diabetes Research.

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