Research

With $1.6M award, biochemist tackles diabetes

New to the fight, but well-armed

Brown’s powerful new NMR magnet will allow Wolfgang Peti to study the motion and timing of protein interactions, advancing the effort to understand and possibly to improve insulin signaling in people with type 2 diabetes. Credit: Photos by Mike Cohea/Brown University

People with type 2 diabetes can make insulin but their bodies use it so poorly that glucose levels run amok. It’s been difficult for scientists to understand what’s going awry in the way that tiny, fast-moving proteins signal and regulate glucose metabolism. As a result, while drugs can help somewhat, many patients still must monitor their glucose and inject insulin.