Boshell Research Program News

February 9, 2022

Auburn University Researcher, U.S. News & World Report Consider Mediterranean Diet as Best Diet

Auburn University’s Mike Greene was not surprised to learn that U.S. News & World Report had ranked the Mediterranean diet as the best diet for the fifth consecutive year.

The associate professor in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality Management in Auburn’s College of Human Sciences has been studying the diet and its health benefits for seven years.

Greene attributed the popularity of the Mediterranean diet to the fact that it isn’t restrictive, like so many fad diets. He said it is about healthy, balanced eating; it’s a way of life that an individual, or a whole family, could easily follow.

“It is better to think about the diet more as a dietary approach, or a way of life, as opposed to a strict ‘diet,’” he added.

Full article on the Mediterranean diet

January 14, 2022

Griffett Joins Boshell Program

Dr. Griffett

Dr. Kristine Griffett, Assistant Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine (Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology) is the newest member of the Boshell program.  Dr. Griffett received her B.S. in Biology from St. Joseph’s College where she worked on ecological toxins in the Great South Bay in New York, then received her M.S. degree in Biology from the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University.  She then moved to the University of South Florida to pursue a Ph.D. in Developmental Genetics.  Her work at USF focused on somatic mutations leading to early advanced cancer in novel genomic instability (gin) mutant zebrafish.  After graduation, Kristine joined the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, FL as a postdoctoral fellow where she pursued pharmacology and drug discovery research, particularly characterizing new chemical entities for nuclear receptors involved in metabolic diseases.  Her fellowship continued at Saint Louis University School of Medicine in nuclear receptor pharmacology where she was awarded an NIH NURSA F32 award for her work on the Liver X Receptors (LXRs) in Fatty Liver Diseases.  This groundbreaking work led to an American Heart Association Scientist Development Grant on LXRs and hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis.  Her research at Auburn will continue to investigate the role of several nuclear receptors in metabolic diseases, diabetes, and diabetic complications, as well as characterize novel chemical scaffolds using chemical-biology approaches for the discovery of novel therapeutics.

November 18, 2021

Auburn’s Boshell diabetes research program brings together faculty in fight against deadly disease

As America recognizes National Diabetes Month in November, Auburn University scientists are devoted year-round to researching this debilitating disease that affects one in 10 Americans.

Auburn’s Boshell Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Research Program has 54 faculty members from 10 academic units across campus researching causes and treatments for diabetes and obesity-related health issues, principally focusing on the cardiac, neurological and metabolic aspects.

“We have excellent faculty seeking to improving the lives of all people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes,” said Professor Robert Judd, chair of the Boshell program and head of the Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology in the College of Veterinary Medicine. “Our research will help people and pets, as dogs and cats can suffer from diabetes.”

Full article on the Boshell diabetes research program

October 21, 2021

Award-winning Auburn Chemistry Professor Using $2.5 Million in Grants to Propel Diabetes Research

Diabetes is a debilitating disease that affects millions of Americans, and one Auburn University researcher is hard at work—through the power of chemistry—to make a difference in the fight.

Chris Easley, the C. Harry Knowles Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, or COSAM, is leading a team of researchers on a quest to streamline and enhance biological measuring capabilities to better understand conditions like diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Buoyed by National Institutes of Health, or NIH, grants totaling $2.5 million, Easley is partnering with other professors and enlisting his research team to conduct experiments that may one day help medical professionals better understand, treat and prevent diseases, like diabetes, that are wreaking havoc across the globe.

Full article on Charles Easley

May 20, 2021

Gamston Receives Grant to Provide Comprehensive Diabetes Services Through Telepharmacy

Dr. Courtney E. Gamston

A team of pharmacists from the Harrison School of Pharmacy led by Boshell member, Dr. Courtney E. Gamston, was awarded funding through the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) Scholarship Award to expand the services of the Auburn University Pharmaceutical Care Center’s Population Health Clinic (AUPCC) to provide comprehensive diabetes management services via a remote, telepharmacy service to patients of the Selma VA. As of February 2021, fourth-year student pharmacists on advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) rotation in the AUPCC have the opportunity to expand their training in the care of patients with diabetes while helping these patients to reach their glycemic and health management goals. NACDS Foundation provides funding annually to enhance education and research that supports the improvement of patient understanding of their medications and medication adherence.

May 14, 2021

Chou Joins Boshell Program

Dr. C. Edward Chou

Dr. C. Edward Chou, Associate Professor in the Harrison School of Pharmacy (Department of Health Outcomes Research and Policy), is the newest member of the Boshell program.  Dr. Chou is a health services researcher with a multidisciplinary training background in pharmacy, public health and health economics and outcomes research.  His research focuses on improving healthcare access, utilization, and outcomes among underserved patients, particularly those with diabetes, through evaluations of comparative effectiveness of health-related policies or medical interventions or pharmaceutics using a mixed-methods approach.  His current projects also apply implementation science in community-based participatory research.  Dr. Chou’s work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality, New York State Health Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  His research has been published in high-impact journals including New England Journal.

April 30, 2021

Dr. Joseph BrewerBrewer Joins Boshell Program

Dr. Joseph Brewer, Discipline Chair for Immunology at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, is the newest member of the Boshell program.  An alumnus of Auburn University (’90), he earned his doctoral degree in immunology at Duke University.  Dr. Brewer then trained as a post-doctoral fellow at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital where he developed an interest in mechanisms that allow cells to adapt to increased demands on the secretory pathway.  As an independent investigator, his research program has focused on the roles of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response in antibody-secreting B cells and in the process of ER biogenesis.  In his current position, Dr. Brewer teaches immunology and is developing experimental systems to investigate the interactions of adipocytes and B cells and their relationship to adipose tissue inflammation.

April 23, 2021

Mike Greene

Study Suggests Negative Association Between the Mediterranean Diet and COVID-19 Cases and Deaths

Associate Professor of nutrition Mike Greene, building on his extensive research on Mediterranean diet adherence, has published a paper linking Mediterranean diet adherence to COVID-19 cases and deaths. The paper was co-authored by Alexis Roberts, an Auburn University graduate nutrition student, and Drew Frugé, assistant professor and director of the didactic program in dietetics.

The ecological study examined two dozen countries with universal healthcare systems to reduce confounding factors associated with COVID-19 care. Greene’s team then studied the possible relationship between the Mediterranean diet and the severity of COVID-19 cases.

The research suggests that a healthy dietary pattern that reduces inflammation and risk of chronic disease, such as the Mediterranean diet, may reduce COVID-19 pathology and mortality. While more research directly examining the links between Mediterranean diet and COVID-19 will shed more light on this relationship, the results of the study are consistent with other findings that link healthy diets with reduced risk of disease.

Full paper at Frontiers in Nutrition here.

April 23, 2021

Drew Frugé

Frugé Receive 2021 Outstanding Educator Award

Drew Frugé, assistant professor and director of the didactic program in dietetics in Auburn University’s College of Human Sciences, has received a 2021 Outstanding Dietetic Educator Award from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Nutrition and Dietetic Educators and Preceptors Directors. The awards recognize one educator from each of the five nutrition and dietetic program types from six geographic regions across the country for outstanding teaching, mentoring and leadership. Award winners are published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the NDEP-line and on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website. Frugé will receive his South Central Region Outstanding Dietetic Educator Award in the Didactic Program in Dietetics category at the next NDEP regional meeting.

August 31, 2020

Dr. Chris EasleyEasley Receives 2020 COSAM Dean’s Research Award

Congratulations to Dr. Chris Easley, C. Harry Knowles Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry for receiving the 2020 Dean’s Research Award from the College of Sciences and Mathematics!

His Research Award Lecture is below:

July 27, 2020

Francesca MowryMowry Receives Awards from the American Physiological Society and American Heart Association

Congratulations to Francesca Mowry, a doctoral student in the laboratory of Dr. Vinicia Biancardi (College of Veterinary Medicine-Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology), for receiving two awards for her research. She was recognized with the 2020 Van Harreveld Memorial Award, Central Nervous System Section from the American Physiological Society. This award recognizes outstanding research in neuroscience by a graduate student who participates in the Experimental Biology Meeting. In addition, she was recently awarded a New Investigator Travel Award from the Council of Hypertension, American Heart Association. This award encourages new investigators to undertake or continue hypertension research. Applications are judged primarily based on the scientific ranking of the candidate’s abstract selected for presentation at the Hypertension Scientific Sessions (September 10-13, 2020). The award is presented to up to 10 new investigators among graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, residents and instructors.

February 18, 2020

Huifei Sophia ZhengSophia Receives the Endocrine Society Summer Research Fellowship.

Congratulations to Huifei Sophia Zheng, a doctoral student in the laboratory of Dr. Jeff Huang (College of Veterinary Medicine – Anatomy, Physiology and Pharmacology), for receiving the Endocrine Society Summer Fellowship. The Society provides a stipend to the award recipient to participate in a research project under the guidance of a Society member for 8 to 12 weeks during the summer. Sophia’s research project is “Ectopic expression of Foxl2 leads to adrenal gland disorganization.”

December 12, 2019

Brittannie ChesterChester is the First Place Winner of Auburn’s Three Minute Thesis Competition

Congratulations to Brittannie Chester, a doctoral student in the laboratory of Dr. Geetha Thangiah (Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality Management), for winning first place at Auburn’s 3MT competition on November 21.  Her thesis is entitled, “The Efficacy of Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Interventions in the Management of Glycemic Control in Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.”

September 3, 2019

Dr. Chris EasleyEasley is the 2019 AES Electrophoresis Society Mid-Career Achievement Award Recipient

Dr. Chris Easley, the C. Harry Knowles Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is the recipient of the 2019 AES Electrophoresis Society Mid-Career Achievement Award.

Full article honoring Dr. Easley as recipient of this prestigious award.

September 3, 2019

Amin Receives NIH-SIBR Grant to Study Impact of Diabetes Drugs on Alzheimer’s Disease

Dr. Raj Amin

Dr. Raj Amin, Associate Professor of Drug Discovery and Development (Harrison School of Pharmacy) has received a NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) award of $449,999 to study the use of insulin-sensitizing drugs in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.  Specifically, his group has developed a novel PPAR-gamma agonist for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. This class of nuclear hormone receptor agonist is traditionally used for improving insulin sensitivity in diabetic patients.  However, these  compounds can also potentially be used for Alzheimer’s disease. His group has developed a non-traditional PPAR- gamma agonist that binds selectively and partially in the PPAR-gamma ligand binding domain to avoid some of the many complications associated with the current PPAR-gamma therapeutics.  The current NIH-SBIR grant will advance this new  therapeutic towards potential FDA  approval for helping people with Alzheimer’s disease in association with the development of our new biotechnology company at Auburn, Metabolic Therapeutics.

September 3, 2019

Lauren Woodie to join Lazar Laboratory for Postdoctoral Studies

Lauren Woodie

Lauren Woodie, a graduate student under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Greene, will join the laboratory of Dr. Mitch Lazar as a postdoctoral fellow in December.  Dr. Lazar is the Willard and Rhoda Ware Professor in Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, the Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, and the Director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism at the University of Pennsylvania.  Dr. Lazar’s many career highlights include discovery of the nuclear receptor, PPARγ, and linking PPARγ to adipocyte differentiation, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes.  Lauren’s dissertation work has focused on Western-diet disruption in the circadian clocks of the brain.  Her work has resulted in many honors, including 1st place award for the 3 minute Thesis Competition at Auburn University and the Conference of Southern Graduate Schools in 2018.  She is set to complete her Ph.D. in Nutrition Science in 2019.

September 3, 2019

Novak Joins Boshell Program

Dr. Josh Novak

Dr. Josh Novak, Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, is the newest member of the Boshell program. His research has focused on couple relationship factors that influence patient diabetes management, and found that partner stress and partner personality is associated with patient diabetes adherence. He also has studied the effect of economic pressure on diabetes management. Much of the literature shows gender disparities in heterosexual couples, with the burden of management falling on women. In addition, there is little to no research on same sex couples and management of diabetes. Joining Auburn, he is now looking to create and test systemic interventions that target both partners in the couple relationship on 4 main factors that influence patient adherence and diabetes management and that is affected by partner engagement and collaboration: (1) nutrition and dietary lifestyle changes, (2) exercise and activity levels, (3) sleep hygiene and rituals, and (4) stress management. It is his hope that targeting the system will result in longer lasting lifestyle changes with better outcomes.

April 22, 2019

Fighting Asthma:  Auburn Research Devoted to Education Children and Their Families

Dr. Linda Gibson-Young’s research in the treatment and prevention of asthma is highlighted in recent article in Auburn Research.  In the article, Dr. Gibson-Young ( Boshell Program Member) says, “When you don’t breath normally, you’re less likely to exercise or be active, and that leads to obesity in children and adults.

This article is in the 2019 issue of Auburn Research,  p. 10-11.

April 22, 2019

Diabetes and Alzheimer’s:  Breaking the Link

Dr. Ramesh Jeganathan’s research is focused on understanding the link between type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease.  In his lab, Jeganathan is exploring the genes, molecules and cellular process that may cause and promote Alzheimer’s in patients with type 2 diabetes and obesity.

This article is in the 2019 issue of Auburn Research,  p. 22-23.

April 22, 2019

NASH Liver Disease Research

Dr. Raj Amin and his team received a Tier 1 PAIR  funding to support the development of new medications and therapeutic approaches to combat nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).  NASH is the most severe form of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and is commonly associate with the development of type 2 diabetes and obesity.

This article is in the 2019 issue of Auburn Research,  p. 22-23.

March 26, 2019

American Diabetes Association Alert Day

American Diabetes Association Alert Day is a one-day event that encourages everyone to take the Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test and participate in workplace-friendly activities that will teach them about reversing the risk for diabetes.  American Diabetes Association

Feb. 15, 2019

12th Annual Boshell Research Day

The 12th Annual Boshell Research Day, set for Friday, FEBRUARY 15, 2019, will bring together experts from around the United States to present current topics related to diabetes and the role of obesity in its development. The meeting will be highlighted by research presentations throughout the day and evening. Read more about the 12th Annual Boshell Research Day

More News Items:

Vishal Kothari, a Senior Fellow at the University of Washington, was recently a awarded an American Diabetes Association Postdoctoral Fellowship in Cardiovascular Medicine.  Vishal completed his Ph.D. under the mentorship of Dr. Ramesh Jeganathan  in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Hospitality Management, College of Human Sciences.