Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Visiting professor to spend week advising researchers, lecturing on diabetes, obesity

Touro guest a leader in battle against deadly medical issues

By SARAH ROHRS/Times-Herald staff writer
Vallejo Times Herald

Article Launched:10/16/2007 07:46:45 AM PDT
As part of Touro University's efforts to battle obesity and diabetes, proceeds from a grant will be used to host a visiting professor who is a leader in both fields.

Dr. Vincent Monnier, a professor from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, will be on campus this week to give seminars, and advise student research groups working on the two major health problems.

Monnier's visit is being hosted by Touro University research director Alejandro Gugliucci, a Touro biochemistry professor.

Monnier's visit is funded with a Pfizer Grant, which also were given this year to University of California at Davis, Michigan State University and Penn State University.

Grants are funded by Pfizer Incorporated, a major research-based pharmaceutical company. Up to 10 visiting professor grants of $7,500 per institution are made on a competitive basis. Participants are selected by an independent academic advisory board

The visit is part of Touro's efforts to prevent and stem the obesity epidemic in both children and adults, a focus which has inspired several community projects in nearby schools, officials said.

Monnier has led ground-breaking research on the role of blood sugar in diabetes, and published more than 150 articles on diabetes, cardio-vascular disease and aging, Gugliucci added.

Later this year, Touro students will undertake more public health projects in which they will use entertaining activities and strategies to help children choose fruits and vegetables over sodas and sugary snacks.

While Touro hosts Monnier, Gugliucci is preparing to spend the month of November at four Brazil universities.

While in Brazil, he will give lectures and share research ideas and projects in universities at Sao Paulo, Florianopolis, Curitiba and Rio de Janeiro, he said.

At the Brazil schools, Gugliucci said he will present the findings of Touro's research into the beneficial effects of mate tea which comes from a tree native to Uruguay.

Touro students have undertaken a number of research projects on the tea, including its ability to boost an enzyme associated with high-density lipoprotein which is believed to lower the risks of coronary artery disease.

• Contact Sarah Rohrs at srohrs@thnewsnet.com or 553-6832.

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