Carleton University’s Jenny Bruin, professor in the Department of Biology is receiving approximately $750,000 from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) to support her innovative research on the factors that trigger diabetes onset and progression.

“This funding will enable Bruin’s team to carry out thorough studies on factors impacting this serious health issue facing Canadians and to contribute to informed policy development,” said Rafik Goubran, vice-president (Research and International).

Cases of diabetes are rising at an alarming rate, yet the factors that trigger its onset and drive its progression are still poorly understood. Generally, diabetes is caused by a deficiency in insulin-secreting beta cells, which are located throughout the pancreas in endocrine clusters called islets. There is mounting evidence that exposure to environmental chemicals is linked to increased diabetes risk, but the effects of pollutants on beta cells are only beginning to emerge.

“We will study how environmental pollutants impact the specialized cells in our pancreas that produce insulin and regulate blood sugar levels,” said Bruin. “We will also measure the concentration of pollutants in the pancreas of human organ donors to evaluate the level of exposure in Canadians. Our work will inform clinicians and policy-makers about chemicals that may be involved in diabetes risk.”

About Carleton Research:
Carleton is a dynamic, interdisciplinary research-intensive institution with a creative international approach to research that has led to many significant discoveries and works in science and engineering, business, public affairs and the arts. Home to many noted award-winning researchers, Carleton is uniquely committed to discovery, knowledge, and understanding of the world around us. Carleton’s location in Ottawa, the nation’s capital, allows unique access for our researchers across many disciplines to such places as Canada’s national labs and museums, Library and Archives Canada, federal government departments and, of course, Parliament Hill. Through building sustainable communities, we foster new ideas to create a more prosperous future for Canada and the world.

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