The Boshell Research Program


At the Boshell Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Research Program at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine, we are seeking answers in the prevention, cure, and management of diabetes, metabolic diseases, and their complications.

Focus Areas

Enhancing the opportunities for diabetes research at Auburn University by facilitating cross-disciplinary scientific discussion, supporting the study of new ideas, fostering the development of investigators new to the field of diabetes, and expanding, the overall base of diabetes investigation at Auburn..

  • Nutrition
  • Neurobiology
  • Cardiovascular
  • Metabolism/Obesity
  • Cancer
  • Metabolite Analysis
Diabetes FAQ

Are people with diabetes at higher risk for gum disease?

American Diabetes Association LogoYes. People with diabetes are at a higher risk for gum disease and other dental problems. Diabetes may weaken your mouth and body’s germ-fighting powers and high blood glucose levels can make gum disease worse. At the same time, gum disease may make blood glucose levels harder to control.

In addition to gum disease, what other oral health problems can develop for people with diabetes?

While gum disease is the most common problem, having diabetes also makes you prone to other mouth problems such as oral infections, thrush, poor healing and dry mouth. Remember, good dental care can result in a healthy mouth and a smile that will last a lifetime.

Will a poorly controlled blood glucose level have any affect on developing gum disease?

Yes. High blood glucose levels make gum disease get worse. Like all infections, gum disease can be a factor in causing blood sugar to rise and make diabetes harder to control.

Should I tell my dentist and hygienist that I have diabetes?

Yes. People with diabetes have special needs. Keep your dentist and dental hygienist informed of any changes in your condition and any medication(s) you might be taking. Postpone any non-emergency dental procedures if your blood sugar is not in good control.

How do I know if I have serious gum disease?

Often there are no signs of serious gum disease. You may not know you have it until you have some serious damage. Regular dental visits are your best weapon.

What’s the first stage of gum disease?

The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis and if ignored, can develop into the more severe form of gum disease, known as periodontitis. When this happens, you may need gum surgery to save your teeth.

What are the signs of gingivitis and/or serious gum disease?

Some of the possible signs of gingivitis and/or serious gum disease include:

  • Bleeding and red, swollen, or tender gums
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth.
  • Pus between the teeth and gums (when you press on the gums)
  • Bad breath
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or moving away from each other
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit when you bite
  • Changes in the fit of partial dentures or bridges

If you have any of the above, see your dentist.

What percentage of adults get gingivitis and gum disease during their lives?

About 80% of adults will get gum disease at some point. It’s a lot more common than you think!

At what age does gum disease generally start?

Gum disease can start at any age. Children and teenagers who have diabetes are at greater risk for gum disease than those who don’t have diabetes.

How can I help prevent dental problems associated with diabetes?

First and foremost, control your blood glucose level. Then take good care of your teeth and gums, along with regular dental check-ups every six months.

Source: American Diabetes Association

Research Day


Fyffe Research Fund

Jim Fyfe Diabetes Research Fund LogoThe late Jim Fyffe, “Voice of the Tigers” for 23 years, will continue to influence Auburn fans and alumni through a newly created diabetes research fund bearing his name. Fyffe suffered from diabetes and died suddenly of a brain aneurysm in May 2003. The Jim Fyffe Diabetes Research Fund at Auburn University will honor the longtime broadcaster by supporting graduate students conducting diabetes research and by providing funding for diabetes research projects. The fund has been established by Auburn University, Auburn Network and Jim Fyffe’s widow, Rose Fyffe. “In talking with the university and his family, we felt this would be a great way to honor Jim and help others who are searching for a cure to this disease,” said Jon Cole, vice president of Auburn Network.

Donations will go toward diabetes research in the College of Veterinary Medicine’s Boshell Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Research Program, which studies diseases that affect both humans and animals. The program is funded through an endowment established in 1995 by the National Diabetes Association, formerly the Diabetes Trust Fund, in honor of its founder, the late Dr. Buris R. Boshell, a noted diabetes researcher who attended the veterinary college before enrolling in medical school. “Jim Fyffe’s life and untimely death have greatly increased public awareness of the devastating reality of diabetes,” said Dr. Robert Judd, the AU Boshell chair. “I was always impressed with Jim’s love for Auburn and for his devotion to finding a cure for diabetes.”

“We also plan to use all of Auburn Network’s resources such as radio, television, print and the Web site to generate interest and support for this fund,” Cole said. “We are also re-releasing audio and video tributes about Jim, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the new fund.”

The updated versions include Fyffe’s 20th anniversary audio CD and a DVD-video highlighting Fyffe’s career with never-before-seen video footage. In addition, any licensed product with Fyffe’s name on it will generate funds through a portion of the royalties.

“Nothing would honor Jim more than having this diabetes research fund named for him,” Rose Fyffe added. “He hated the disease, although he lived with it as successfully as he could. Diabetes finally took his life, but it didn’t take his spirit. He will live on as long as these wonderful researchers are out there trying to find a cure.” Donations can be made to the Jim Fyffe Diabetes Research Fund and sent to the A.U. Foundation, 317 S. College St., Auburn, AL 36849.