"Sweet" news for the Fehl Lab

Wayne State Chemistry's Charlie Fehl is celebrating receiving a research grant from the Mizutani Foundation for Glycoscience. The Mizutani award funds the Fehl Lab to determine the precise sugar responses to insulin signaling. Using a light-controlled sugar tool they developed as part of their NIH-funded project, the Fehl group can now ask questions like, "what happens to sugar signaling after insulin stimulation in cells?"

The breakthrough is all in the chemistry. Photochemical "cages" let researchers flash a light to release the sugar tools. This process allows super-fast control of sugar signal capture that accelerates labeling in just minutes, rather than hours or days that traditional tools take. The Fehl Lab is hoping to discover fundamental life processes, including those that allow us to feel hungry then rapidly signal for us that we are full before we eat too much, how we regulate our energy levels, and how metabolism might alter our disease risk factors.

The Mizutani Foundation of Glycosciences is a prestigious grant funded by the Japanese foundation to qualified scientists to promote basic and applied studies of carbohydrates (sugars). The Mizutani Foundation receives applications from 30 to 40 countries and will fund only 15 or 16 grants per year, with only one to four awardees from the United States.

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