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$11M grant funds MMCRI's research of obesity and other metabolic diseases

The National Institutes of Health awarded the Maine Medical Center Research Institute a five-year, $11 million grant to establish a multidisciplinary research center focused on human metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes.

The funded program includes partnerships between Maine Medical Center and the University of Maine, the University of New England and Brown University.

The $11 million Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence, or COBRE, award comes just seven weeks after the NIH announced a separate $20 million award to MMCRI and two partnering institutions to establish the Northern New England Clinical and Translational Research Network.

The two new programs will complement each other and expand MMCRI's capacity to translate basic laboratory research discoveries into clinical care for patients, according to a news release announcing the new award.

Researchers at MMCRI have been studying how metabolically active tissues, including fat, bone and the brain use energy and control overall metabolism in the body. The COBRE award will fund four young investigators who are conducting cellular, molecular, biochemical and clinical research. The award also supports the expansion of state-of-the-art technology, including advanced protein and lipid analysis and bone measurements, and the assessment of physiology and body metabolism.