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Targeting OBesity-driven Inflammation

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Preventing obesity-related diseases

New research has identified potential drug targets to interfere with the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease in obese individuals.


Obesity affects about 15 % of adults in Europe and is associated with insulin resistance and vascular dysfunction as a result of inflammation. Molecules known as adipokines mediate the interaction between fat and inflammatory cells involved in the development of these conditions. Complex molecular pathways are associated with the production and function of these adipokines. Accordingly, the EU-funded 'Targeting obesity-driven inflammation' (TOBI) project focused on analysing these pathways in the hope of identifying targets for drugs that could interfere with obesity-associated inflammation. The project team managed to identify such a target and they have characterised molecules that could bind to the target to act as a drug. They have also established a biobank containing relevant biological samples from adults. Multimedia tools have been used to communicate relevant research, the risks of obesity and the benefits of healthy living. For example, the team arranged a cooking event with famous Austrian Chef Johanna Maier and others. The event was recorded and can be viewed on YouTube and Vimeo. Further research will address whether or not the potential drug target identified through TOBI will be clinically significant. As such, the project has made a significant contribution to fostering obesity research in Europe.

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