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Dr. Sushant BatnagarUAB Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism Associate Professor and Scientist in the Comprehensive Diabetes CenterSushant Bhatnagar, Ph.D., was awarded a one-year R03 grant from the National Institutes of Health Grant.

The grant was awarded to the Bhatnagar Lab project titled “Investigating the Effects of ADGRB3 Signaling on Incretin-Mediated Insulin Secretion from Pancreatic Beta-Cells.”

The Bhatnagar lab recently identified the brain angiogenesis inhibitor-3 (ADGRB3) as a receptor that reduces the maximal glucose-stimulated insulin secretion effect.

Their preliminary work shows beta cell ADGRB3 expression is increased in the obese state, suggesting this pathway may contribute to the beta cell dysfunction of T2D.

Most individuals with diabetes can control insulin externally through insulin pumps, shots, and drugs like Metformin. Moreover, stable GLP1 analogs such as liraglutide and semaglutide are currently well-accepted T2D therapeutics. Yet, they remain ineffective or insufficiently effective in 20-40% of T2D individuals. Thus, there is a need to discover new therapeutic targets for treating T2D.

The Bhatnagar Lab would like to understand how ADGRB3 affects insulin secretion in those with diabetes. Their long-term goal with this project is to understand how ADGRB3 can be modulated to improve insulin secretion to treat prediabetes and Type 2 diabetes in human subjects.

“We’re not stopping at the current methods for glucose control,” said Bhatnagar. “We want to continue pushing forward, uncovering novel ways to control glucose, potentially paving the way for new drugs, gene editing, and more that will improve the lives of those with diabetes.”