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January 31, 2011

SIU Med School Receives NIH Grant

A scientist at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield has been awarded a five-year federal grant from the National Institute of Aging, a division of the National Institutes of Health to study insulin sensitivity and aging.  The total budget for the grant is $1,491,375.

Michal Masternak, Ph.D., (portrait) assistant professor of internal medicine, is the principal investigator for the project.  This is the first federal grant awarded for his research.

With increasing incidences of metabolic syndrome, diabetes and obesity combined with more people living longer, a better understanding of metabolic diseases is needed.  This research will investigate the effects of a high fat diet and visceral fat collections in the body on insulin sensitivity and aging in mice.  The goal of the project is to study the mechanisms responsible for different functions of fat tissue and better understand metabolic diseases in order to develop new treatments.

Masternak joined SIU's faculty in 2004.  He completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in gerontology at SIU (2004).  Masternak earned his doctoral degree in biological sciences from Karol Marcinkowski University Medical Sciences, Poznan Institute of Human Genetics, Polish Academy of Sciences (2002) and his master’s from University of Life Sciences (2000), both in Poland.