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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

Iowa Researcher Receives FOE Diabetes Research Center Grant

Dr. Wei Bao, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, was recently selected to receive $20,000  from the Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE) Diabetes Research Center to support his research proposal, “Nontraditional glycemic markers in early pregnancy as predictors of gestational diabetes,” for one year.

[Photo: Dr. Wei Bao]

Dr. Bao’s research team will conduct a nested case-control study in a prospective cohort of pregnant women. Researchers will measure nontraditional glycemic markers in first-trimester maternal plasma samples of pregnant women, and associate these markers with the risk of incident gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). The team will also assess the utility of these markers in the discrimination and prediction of GDM, as indicated by improved C-statistic and reclassification measures.

Previous studies on the use of these markers for GDM prediction mainly used blood samples collected at the time of GDM diagnosis and the results have been conflicting. The proposed study is innovative as it represents a departure from the status quo by examining nontraditional glycemic markers in early pregnancy as early predictors for GDM. If successful, the proposed study may change the clinical paradigm in the screening and prediction of GDM. Findings from this study will be important to develop Specific Aims for subsequent NIH R01 projects that integrate multiple biochemical and genetic markers for improved GDM prediction in the era of “Precision Medicine.”