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Supporting biomedical research

The four recipients of IBMS research grants in 2020 explain their projects and the impact they hope their work will have. 

In 2020, the IBMS awarded research grants totalling almost £18,000. 

From identifying novel strategies to treat osteoarthritis, to investigating whether human papillomaviruses cause urinary cancer, the IBMS has supported four cutting-edge biomedical research projects this year. Here the recipients outline their work.

Paul Waller 
Associate Professor in Biomedical Science
Kingston University London

Mechanisms of hepatic iron overload in dysmetabolic iron overload syndrome

Recent evidence indicates that one-third of patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) will also have a condition known as dysmetabolic iron overload syndrome (DIOS). This condition is characterised by mild increases in total body and liver iron stores, with the presence of fatty liver and/or metabolic abnormalities, after exclusion of any known cause of iron excess, such as alcoholism. It is not yet confirmed why iron overload occurs in these individuals, however, clinical observational studies highlight an independent role of iron in developing metabolic disease, such as type 2 diabetes.

Due to the increasing prevalence of metabolic syndrome, DIOS is believed to be the most common iron overload condition, with more than 10 cases for each case of hereditary haemochromatosis.

The development of DIOS appears to be related to altered regulation of iron transport associated with hepatic steatosis, insulin resistance and inflammation, as well as macrophage iron retention. It also appears to be linked to a state of hepcidin resistance. There are currently limited studies on molecular mechanisms of iron excess in DIOS.  

The grant awarded by the IBMS will allow the purchase of ELISA kits for the measurement of ferroportin, ZIP14 and DMT1. Results from these analyses, together with those from routine investigations, will provide insight into altered iron homeostasis in patients with DIOS.

Please click here to read the full article.

Image credit | Getty

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