Research teams use grant to investigate vaccine for obesity

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Obesity & Immunology, Obesity Initiative at UGA

More Obesity Initiative news in Columns! Check out this great update for the Obesity & Immunology team.

Here’s a snippet of the Columns article that I wrote:

Since discovered as a way to prevent smallpox in the 1700s, vaccines have earned a spot among the greatest advances in medicine. Now, UGA researchers are looking to vaccines to prevent obesity, one of the biggest health challenges facing not just the U.S., but countries worldwide.

Obesity is now understood to be caused by a complex interaction of genetic, behavioral, nutritional and-scientists now believe-viral factors, opening the door for potential prevention with a vaccine.

“We’re taking advantage of the fact that a unique variation, or serotype, of adenovirus has been found to cause obesity in animal models and has been associated with obesity in humans,” said Ralph Tripp, professor of infectious diseases in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Vaccine Development.

Tripp is part of two research teams that received $25,000 each from UGA’s Obesity Initiative to collect initial data for current and future grant proposals. One isĀ investigating obesity and bone strength, and the other is researching obesity and stem cells.

“By teaming with professors in foods and nutrition, infectious disease, and biochemistry and molecular biology, we’re able to combine our strengths to look at how infectious disease and stem cell development can impact obesity,” Tripp said. “We’ve brought together the various sciences for which we didn’t previously have expertise.”