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Before the launch of the OREI, some senior faculty were involved in obesity research in a number of departments and colleges, but there was limited interaction and UI lacked interdisciplinary/interdepartmental focus in obesity. The development of this interaction and national visibility and recognition has been and is a priority of the OREI working in a complementary partnership with the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC) and other centers at UI.
In partnership with the FOEDRC, directed by Dr. Dale Abel, in January 2012 the OREI launched a new research seminar, the Diabetes and Obesity Talks (DOT), held weekly with presentations by new and senior UI faculty and a number of distinguished visiting professors. These have been extraordinarily successful, with attendance ranging from 45 to 90 from across departments and colleges. Please click here for a schedule of events.
The OREI and FOEDRC have partnered in launching small, informal meetings of faculty—one focused on basic research and another on behavioral medicine and science research—to discuss ideas and work in progress. A goal of these Chalk Talks is the development of research “community” and interaction across departments and colleges with a goal to building the foundation for future interdisciplinary research programs.
Under the leadership of Drs. Andrew Norris and Kamal Rahmouni, the OREI is beginning to develop a mechanism for internal review of obesity research grants being considered for submission for peer reviewed extramural funding.