Maine Medical Center has received a $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for a genetic study of obesity.

The goal is to learn more about a specific gene, known as mesoderm specific transcript, or MEST, in hopes of developing new strategies to treat obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Robert Koza has been studying the gene at MMC’s Research Institute, specifically its epigenetic process, which can determine whether genes are expressed. Koza has previously found in his research that animals are less likely to become obese on a high-fat diet when the gene is not expressed or is expressed at low levels. Read more