2023 WARF Innovation Award winners tackle heart disease, diabetes

InnovationAwardsMADISON, Wis. – A protein that could regenerate heart tissue and a new treatment for diabetes and obesity have taken top honors from WARF.

The first 2023 WARF Innovation Award has been given to the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Ahmed Mahmoud, assistant professor of cell and regenerative biology; Timothy Kamp, professor of medicine; and Youngsook Lee, emeritus professor of cell and regenerative biology; for their work, Regenerating and Renewing Heart Tissue.

The team discovered a protein, LRRC10, that activates heart renewal and regeneration in animal models. This discovery could lead to a therapeutic that restores cardiac structure and function in human heart failure patients.

The other winning team includes Samuel Gellman, professor of chemistry; postdoc Kyle Brown and graduate student Rylie Morris for their work, Potent New Drug for Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity.

With the commercial success of two well-known brands, pharmaceutical companies have an intense interest in additional therapeutics for the treatment of both obesity and type 2 diabetes. This team of chemists developed a synthetic peptide that uses a more simplified design to target the same mechanisms of the drugs currently on the market.

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