Hegazy Receives $580,000 NIH Grant to Support Diabetes Research

Published on 20 April 2022

Lamees Hegazy, Ph.D., assistant professor of medicinal chemistry at University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis, was the recent recipient of a three-year, $581,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

Hegazy will utilize the grant funding to further her research efforts to target the estrogen-related receptor alpha (ERRα) with the goal of identifying novel antidiabetic agents.

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently estimating that nearly 37.3 million people in America have diabetes, the chronic health condition is the leading cause of death in the U.S., and it currently has no cure.

“Strong genetic evidence points to ERRα as a promising therapeutic target for diabetes, but little is known about its structure and the mechanisms by which molecules regulate its function,” Hegazy explained. “This grant from NIH will help us uncover important structural information on ERRα that may be utilized to identify or design novel drugs to treat diabetes in the future.”

Working alongside her research team, Hegazy will build on her current research efforts by using state-of-the-art computational and biochemistry approaches to understand the structure and pharmacology of ERRα.

“Our team has been conducting preliminary structural studies on ERRα, and this funding from NIH will allow us to go further in our work, which will help scientists find new therapeutics for a condition that impacts the lives of so many around the world,” noted Hegazy.

Established in August 2015, the Center for Clinical Pharmacology is a partnership between University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis and the Department of Anesthesiology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The center continues to diversify with faculty investigators currently engaged in a variety of diverse research areas. Click here to learn more.

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