"The focus of the Metabolic Disease Working Group headed by Kevin Grove (Neuroscience) and Charles Roberts (Neuroscience/ Reproductive Sciences) is to develop and use nonhuman primate models of diet-induced obesity to study the broad health issues associated with metabolic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and immune disorders.
Obesity is a worldwide health epidemic, being a major contributor to the increased occurrence of coronary heart disease, hypertension, immune disorders and type-2 diabetes. Sixty to ninety percent of type-2 diabetes is thought to result from obesity, and obesity is a component of the metabolic syndrome, which also includes cardiovascular risk factors and symptoms of pre-diabetes such as impaired glucose tolerance. A successful understanding of the causes, consequences, and possible solutions to the metabolic disease crisis will require that the full spectrum of basic, translational, and clinical research and epidemiology be brought to bear on the problem. The nonhuman primate is one of the few models that develops the full spectrum of the metabolic syndrome and has several aspects that make it a critical and powerful model for the human disease."