A research workshop dedicated to metabolic disease research, with a specific emphasis on diabetes (T1D and T2D) and obesity, was held at The University of Connecticut, Department for Cell and Genome Sciences in Farmington, Connecticut, on April 11-12, 2016. The event was co-sponsored by The Jackson Laboratory (JAX), Yale University, the University of Connecticut (UConn), and the Cohen Family UConn-Israel Start-up Fund (managed by UConn Global Affairs), and included scientists from the Weizmann Institute of Science. This was the third annual workshop held for the purpose of sharing research advances on the study of metabolic disease among speakers with a diverse range of expertise. Researchers from the Weizmann Institute contributed not only to the larger scientific discussion, but also provided insight into the formation of the Center for Metabolism and Metabolic Disorders within their own institution.
This workshop represents the continued dedication of researchers in Connecticut and in Israel to the goals of the Metabolic Research Alliance, which are to form a multi-institutional collaborative effort to foster innovation and research breakthroughs in the area of metabolic diseases with an emphasis on T1D, T2D and obesity research. This international alliance was borne of a previous collaborative effort between JAX, UConn and Yale researchers, known as the Connecticut Center for Metabolic Disease Research, the creation of which was spearheaded by Dr. Milton Wallack, Founder of the Connecticut Stem Cell Coalition and former President of the New Haven chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Joining his efforts are key biomedical leaders from Connecticut’s premier research institutions, including Dr. Kevan Herold and Dr. Robert Sherwin of Yale University, Dr. Marc Lalande from UConn and Dr. Charles Lee from JAX-GM. In addition to the research participants and administrative leaders from the aforementioned institutions, CT State Representative Lonnie Reed, co-chair of the bipartisan life sciences caucus, stressed that CT legislators are committed to supporting the life sciences.