:: Affiliated to the Tamilnadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University, University of Madras
  :: ‘ICMR Advanced Centre for Genomics of Type 2 Diabetes’ :: IDF Centre for Education
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Translational Research

Current activities Past activities Future trends Research team

The department of Translational Research termed until August 2008 as the department of Community Medicine was established in August 2004. Translational Research better describes the primary function of the department namely; to translate current and previous research on diabetes and non-communicable diseases [NCDs] prevention and control into action at the community level. In layman’s terms translational research basically carries out translates existing research knowledge from the bench to the bedside/to the community. Presently under the supervision of Dr. Ranjani Harish – Research Officer, the department approaches diabetes and NCDs prevention in the community through primordial prevention, primary prevention, secondary prevention and tertiary prevention.

 
  Vision  
 

To promote health, to preserve health, to restore health when it is impaired, and to minimize suffering and distress.

 
  Mission  
 
To promote, preserve and restore health by focussing on prevention strategies
 
  Etio-pathophysiology of Diabetes
          - Knowledge of causation
          - Dynamics of the disease
          - Identification of risk factors and risk groups
Prevention strategies

          - Availability of prophylactic measures
          - Early detection measures
          - Continuous evaluation of implemented preventive measures
Treatment measures
 
 

Portfolio of Current Activities of the Department

 
 

The department is currently involved in three community projects:

1. ORANGE Study (Obesity Reduction and Awareness of Non-communicable diseases through Group Education)
Orange, is aimed at screening children in schools and colonies to determine the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, pre-diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemias, metabolic syndrome and MODY. The Orange study has two components:

  • A School component [Phase-I]:  25,000 children from 50 schools (selected by stratified random sampling method) in Chennai and 2,000 children from colonies in the age group of 6-19 years will be screened over a period of two years (2008–2010). Between July 2008 and May 2009 650 children in the community (from different parts of Chennai) and 2579 school children from 11 corporation schools and one management school have been screened.            
  • A Community component [Phase-II]: to help spread awareness on causes and problems associated with childhood obesity through talks, skits, puppet- shows, quiz and debates. The awareness program and handing over of reports has been completed in 8 schools.

2. D-CLIP (Diabetes Community Lifestyle Improvement Program) - is a Translation Trial of a Culturally Specific Lifestyle Intervention program for Diabetes Prevention in India.

The D-CLIP project enjoys the support of the International Diabetes Federation - under the BRIDGES program and is executed in joint collaboration with the Global Diabetes Research Centre (GDRC), the MDRF and Emory University (U.S). Based on the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP); it is 3-year project in the effects of aggressive lifestyle intervention (healthy eating/exercise/behaviour change) in the prevention of diabetes in a pre-diabetic population is to be studied.

Initiated in August 2008 at present close to 2000 individuals in the age group of 20–65 years have been screened from around 25 colonies representing various areas of Chennai. Baseline testing began on June 18th 2009. At present cold-calls are being made to invite pre-diabetic subjects identified from our screening camps and from our hospital records for baseline testing. Following baseline testing to determine which of the pre-diabetic subjects meet the study criteria, the study participants will then be randomised into the final study group. The control group will be provided with standard care while the experimental group will be provided with 16 lessons during the active intervention period and 2 more lessons during the maintenance period on aggressive lifestyle intervention. Parameters pertinent to the study protocol will be measured before, during and after the study in subjects belonging to both groups.

3. Senior citizens project - Senior citizens from old age homes and other volunteer groups such as Dignity Foundation will be screened for diabetes.

 
  Portfolio of Past Activities of the Department  
 
  1. PACE (Prevention Awareness Counseling Evaluation) Diabetes Project sponsored by the Chennai Willingdon Corporate Foundation was initiated, on September 24th 2004. 780 free screening and awareness camps were conducted wherein nearly 80,000 individuals were screened in Chennai City (all the Zones) and awareness was created in around 2 million people. Low cost educational tools including pamphlets and booklets on diabetes were distributed free to the public via the 97 PACE counters that were set up in various malls, supermarkets spread across the city. 

    Significance of PACE:

    The PACE Diabetes Project is, to our knowledge, one of the largest and most successful community based awareness and screening diabetes programs ever conducted in India. The awareness of diabetes imparted to the general public and among the school children has increased manifold and free screening has helped to detect diabetes early and improve the control of diabetes and thereby reduce the burden of diabetic complications in the community. The 6% increase in awareness of diabetes in the Chennai population may appear small, but when applied to the projected adult population of Chennai in 2007, which is approximately 3 million, this translates to about 180,000 more people who are now aware of diabetes in Chennai compared to 2001. Hence the PACE Diabetes Project may be considered as a major success from the public health angle. 

  2. Validation of the IDRS [Indian Diabetes Risk Score] in the community:
  3. Validation of the urine sugar test in the community:
  4. Diabetes Awareness Survey in Hyderabad [DASH] – An Epidemiological study 
  5. Epidemiological study of diabetic retinopathy awareness in Hyderabad
  6. Epidemiological study of diabetic retinopathy awareness in Chennai
  7. The doctors training programme; a GP affiliate program wherein 232 doctors were trained in preventive diabetology
  8. Continuous awareness programme for Chennai Police and their family members (>5000 police officers) jointly organized by Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre, the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation and Chennai City Police.
 
  Future Trends
 
 
- Diabetes in Youth Project – A GDRC project in the planning stage in collaboration with Emory University is a longitudinal study on early onset diabetes in youth.

- Future projects will focus on primary prevention of diabetes and obesity both in children and adults
 
 

Facilities 

 
  The department has the infra-structure, know-how and manpower to conduct screening camps, training programs and awareness programs through written material, presentations, videos, talks, skits, puppet-shows, quiz and debates.  
  Research Team  
 

Dr. Ranjani Harish
Ms. Mohanapriya
Ms. Eswari. D
Ms. Lakshmi. N
Ms. Gini Venisha
Ms. Vasugi. J
Ms. Rekha. V
Ms. Lalitha. V
Ms. Rajeswari. S
Ms. Vijaya Sukumar
Mr. Pandian. D
Ms. Sudha. G
Ms. Padma Priya. P
Mr. Deva Irakkam. P
Mr. David Rajkumar. J
Mr. Ilangovan. A
Mr. Ganesh. M
Mr. Chevuri Mathue

Head, Translational Research
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  Front row : Mohanapriya, Eswari. D, Lakshmi. N, Gini Venisha, Vasugi. J, Rekha. V, Lalitha. V, Rajeswari. S, Vijaya Sukumar, Back row : Deva Irakkam. P, Pandian. D, David Rajkumar. J, Sudha. G, Ilangovan. A, Ranjani Harish, Ganesh. M,Padma Priya. P, Chevuri Mathue  
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