May 27, 2016

Contact: Rachel Henry

Cal Poly Receives $2.8 Million NIH Grant for Gestational Diabetes Research

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Kinesiology Professor Suzanne Phelan recently received $2.8 million from the National Institutes of Health for ongoing research into ways to prevent the recurrence of gestational diabetes. This condition develops during pregnancy and can cause long-term health problems in mothers and their babies. It can also lead to severe pregnancy and delivery complications.

Phelan, her fellow researchers, and a group of Cal Poly students will examine whether improving weight, eating and activity before pregnancy reduces the mother’s long-term risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease and the baby’s risk of obesity.

“I hope findings from this study will form the basis for shifting current healthcare models toward a provision of care before pregnancy,” Phelan said.

Through a five-year clinical trial, Phelan’s group will track a group of pregnant women as they implement lifestyle changes such as a different diet and increased exercise. Student researchers will participate in all stages of this research, including recruitment, physical assessment of the women’s weight changes and health, and data analysis.

Congresswoman Lois Capps will visit the Cal Poly campus on Tuesday, May 31, to meet with Phelan’s group.

“I am so impressed by the state-of-the-art research taking place at Cal Poly on preventing gestational diabetes,” Capps said. “With hundreds of thousands of women diagnosed each year, this research can have a real impact on women and families across the country.”

Capps will also meet with the university’s award-winning Solar Decathlon team. Media are welcome to attend both meetings. The Solar Decathlon meeting will be 1-2 p.m. in Building 13 (Engineering), Room 124B. The Gestational Diabetes group meeting will be 2-3 p.m. in Building 43A (Kinesiology), Room 458

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