UCSB Engineering

November 3, 2004

UCSB & Sansum Diabetes Research Institute Receive National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant

Using Engineering Theory to Optimize Insulin Regulation Interdisciplinary Collaboration May Transform Diabetes Management

Santa Barbara, Calif. – November 3, 2004 – The University of California, Santa Barbara, College of Engineering and Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, also in Santa Barbara, have each received a collaborative grant from the National Institutes of Health to apply engineering theory to optimize insulin regulation in patients with diabetes. The grants, which total $600,000 over two years, will allow the researchers to apply engineering theory to mathematically describe the natural blood glucose cycle. People with insulin-dependent (type 1) diabetes take insulin throughout the day to regulate the amount of glucose, or sugar, in their blood, which is affected by cycles of eating patterns, exercise, stress, sleep, hormones, and a host of other factors. The potential advantage to people with diabetes is simple: by better understanding these factors, the blood glucose levels can be more precisely regulated, which reduces the impact and risks of diabetes to patients. The goal of the project is to develop a model that will optimize the timing and dose of insulin delivery based on a patient’s unique response to insulin. The model will be tested in both computer simulations and in clinical studies with people with type 1 diabetes. The dual principal investigators, Dr. Francis J. Doyle III and Lois Jovanovic, M.D., combine the expertise and experience of a systems engineer with an endocrinologist-researcher in a clinical setting, promising to lead to breakthroughs in the ability to model blood sugar regulation and optimize insulin delivery. Dr. Francis J. Doyle III is the Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Chair in Process Control at UCSB, and is a full professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and holds a joint appointment in the Biomolecular Science and Engineering Program. He received his B.S.E. from Princeton, his C.P.G.S. from Cambridge and his Ph.D. from Caltech, all in Chemical Engineering. After graduate school, he was a Visiting Scientist at DuPont, in the Strategic Process Technology Group, and held appointments at Purdue University, the University of Delaware, and the University of Stuttgart. His research is in systems biology and nonlinear process control, with applications ranging from gene regulatory networks to complex particulate process systems. He is the author of 2 books and over 100 journal articles. Lois Jovanovic, M.D., is Director and Chief Scientific Officer of Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, Adjunct Professor, Biomedial Science and Engineering, at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of Southern California. She received her B.S. in Biology at Columbia University and her MD at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at The New York Hospital, Cornell Medical College, and was a Fellow in Endocrinology and Metabolism at Cornell University Medical College. Dr. Jovanovic has built an international reputation for her work developing clinical algorithms of care for maintaining strict glucose control in people with diabetes. She has developed several formulas for type 1 diabetic patients using insulin pumps as well as for multiple insulin injections. She has published more than 250 articles and 20 books. Media Contacts: UCSB: Barbara Bronson Gray, 818.889.5415 Sansum Diabetes Research Institute: Rochelle Rose, 805.682.7638, ext. 210

Media Contact

Barbara Bronson Gray
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