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Smart Named Barnstable-Brown Chair

Contact: Jennifer Bonck and Amanda White

Photo of Eric Smart, Ph.D.
Eric Smart, Ph.D.

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The endowed chair will provide funds to support Smart’s research on complications of diabetes, work that is crucial to the health and well-being of Kentuckians. As obesity rates surge, in Kentucky and elsewhere in the United States, there are more and more cases of diabetes, and as the number of obese children increases, so do pediatric cases of type II diabetes.

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May 29, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- Eric Smart, Ph.D., associate professor of pediatrics, has been appointed to vice chair of research in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, as well as to the Barnstable-Brown Chair in Diabetes Research.

Smart, who also holds an appointment in the UK Department of Physiology, conducts research in cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes.

Along with a team of 13 scientists, research associates and technicians, Smart uses novel approaches to understand the mechanisms behind cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension. The team’s work focuses on caveola, “command control centers” that regulate molecular signaling. Due to disease, caveola work differently, disrupting normal regulation and affecting normal functioning of the body. Understanding these mechanisms may lead to effective therapies and interventions for a number of diseases in the future.

“Our lab does many different things,” Smart said. “We work in a number of contexts, including that of cell biology, mass spectrometry, genetics, and biochemistry, to understand the mechanisms behind disease processes.”

The endowed chair will provide funds to support Smart’s research on complications of diabetes, work that is crucial to the health and well-being of Kentuckians. As obesity rates surge, in Kentucky and elsewhere in the United States, there are more and more cases of diabetes, and as the number of obese children increases, so do pediatric cases of type II diabetes.

Through his appointment in pediatrics, Smart will provide leadership in the department to further collaborative research efforts, bringing together basic and clinical researchers and strengthening translational research endeavors.

"Obesity and diabetes affect children in epidemic proportions and are major public health problems in the United States, particularly in Kentucky,” said Vipul Mankad, M.D., professor and chair, Department of Pediatrics, UK College of Medicine. “We are delighted to have an internationally known scientist such as Eric Smart working on diabetes research. Also, in his role as vice chair, Dr. Smart will have a major impact on other research programs.”


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