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Faculty & Staff Honors

UNC’s SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth Project Receives Additional Five Years’ Funding from CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has awarded the SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth project support for another five years’ surveillance of the incidence, prevalence and complications of childhood diabetes in the United States.

[Photo: In an online photo scrapbook, this teenager admonishes, “Enough insulin! Cure diabetes already!” UNC’s Dr. Elizabeth Mayer-Davis aims to help do that, as her SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth project collects critical data about the impact of diabetes upon the health of young people. Photo by Mr. Jeff Fillmore.]

Dr. Elizabeth Mayer-Davis is the primary investigator for the UNC site, one of five clinical centers across the country that are part of SEARCH. Dr. Mayer-Davis also serves as national co-chair for the project, which she has helped oversee for the last 15 years. At the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, Dr. Mayer-Davis is the Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor of nutrition and medicine, as well as chair of the nutrition department.

The total amount awarded to the project is $1.9 million, which will further the work done by SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth during the past decade and a half.

The  project is currently the nation’s largest epidemiology study of childhood diabetes, tracking incidence and prevalence of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes throughout the country. The CDC uses the project’s findings for their estimates of national diabetes rates, and SEARCH also provides critical information about the impact of diabetes upon the health of youth.

Recently, Dr. Mayer-Davis was co-lead author on a key paper published by the Journal of the American Medical Association that addressed the increasing prevalence of both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in youth. Both types of diabetes can affect young people from all walks of life.

“One of the most surprising findings in this research was the increase of Type 1 diabetes in minority youth,” Dr. Mayer-Davis said. “The next phase of SEARCH will be critical in informing plans to ensure appropriate care for young people who are diagnosed with this serious disease.”

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