Ohio University Professor Investigates a Gene to Treat Diabetes Complications

The gene, known as Porf-2, was previously discovered by Felicia Nowak 20 years ago. Now the  associate professor of molecular endocrinology at Ohio University’s Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine alongside her team will be looking at the gene to assist with the treatment of diabetes complications.


The researchers do not fully understand the function of the gene but believe that it plays a role in tumor growth and could provide assistance in treating diabetes complications. The gene was previously discovered to promote cellular death and also delays the process of cell division. So far, the research has been done only using cell culture models. The next steps is Nowak’s research is to test the effects of the gene by using a mouse model. This can be done by creating mice that have the Porf-2 gene versus mice that do not.


Another possibility of the study is that mice with diabetes can be tested to determine if the presence of the gene can protect against problems that are associated with having diabetes.


As researchers look for solutions to diabetes and the associated complications, the importance of genetic research is starting to grow. The hope of the researchers is that they discover solutions to both treat and prevent the development of diabetes.

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