Dekkers Endowed Chair Receives New National Institutes of Health Grant

Posted in News Story

February 3, 2020 – Dr. Blythe Shepard, the Dekkers Endowed Chair in Human Science, has received a new federal grant from the National Institutes of Health to help advance her research.

Dr. Blythe Shephard and members of her laboratory work together in the lab.
Dr. Blythe Shepard (center) and members of her laboratory work together in the Discovery Center.

The R03 award (1R03DK123546-01) from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), totaling about $117,000, supports the project, “The Sensing Liver: Localization and Ligands,” and complements Shepard’s current NIH award (1K01DK106400-01A1).

“My laboratory and I are so grateful to the NIDDK for allowing us to make new discoveries in the area of hepatic physiology and pathophysiology,” Shepard said. “Through our previous and current support, we have been able to shed light on understudied ‘sensory receptors’ found within the kidney and their role in the development of diabetes.” 

Shepard is excited to broaden her research. “These receptors govern one’s interpretation of the surrounding world by modulating smell, taste, and vision, and it is now quite clear that these same receptors are expressed throughout the body where they make important contributions to physiological processes.”  

The goal is “to uncover the full complement of these receptors in the liver and learn more about what they sense and where they are found on a cellular level. Ultimately, we hope to use this award to make new connections about how the liver functions in both health and disease.”

Editor’s note: “Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R03DK123546. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.”