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TREO Foundation reveals 2023 ASMBS Research Grants

The TREO Foundation, formerly the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) Foundation, has awarded two research grants of $25,000: one study on the use of a popular new class of obesity drugs before and after bariatric surgery, and the second on the ability of bariatric surgery to prevent breast cancer.

“The TREO Foundation remains committed to supporting critical research that provides new insights into the treatment of obesity and related diseases,” said Dr Carl Pesta, President, TREO Foundation. “Prevention of obesity-related cancers through bariatric surgery and the use of the new glucagon-like peptide-1(GLP-1) agonists alone or in combination with bariatric surgery are two of the hottest areas in research today. We are pleased to help advance this important work for the benefit of patients.”

After a review of more than a dozen grant requests by the ASMBS Research Committee, TREO, which stands for Treatment, Research, and Education to end Obesity, awarded $25,000 ASMBS Research Grants for each of the following studies based on study quality, importance, feasibility and patient impact.

The two grants will support:

  • Biometabolic Impact of Continuation of GLP-1 Agonists Following Bariatric Surgery: A Randomized Control Trial – researchers Drs Andrew Wheeler and Milot Thaqi, University of Missouri, Columbia.

  • Spatial Transcriptomics Reveals Oncoprotective Effect of Bariatric Surgery Against Breast Cancer – researchers Drs Thomas Shin and Eric G Sheu, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Dr Ali Tavakkoli, Harvard Medical School in Boston.

“The grant will provide foundational support for the exploration of how surgical treatment of obesity has metabolic effects that extend beyond the gastrointestinal tract to other parts of the body including breast tissue, eventually opening up opportunities to identify novel therapeutic targets for both obesity and breast cancer,” said Shin.

TREO also sponsored the ASMBS International Grant Program for studies presented at the 2023 ASMBS Annual Scientific Meeting. Award recipients were Dr Zvi H Perry, from Israel, for the study, ‘Association Between Bariatric Surgery and Malignancy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis, Trends and Conclusions’, and Dr Yuntao Nie, from China, for the study, ‘Nomogram for Predicting Anemia 1 Year After Bariatric Surgery in Chinese Patients with Obesity’. Each award recipient received a $1,500 grant.

Since 2004, TREO has sponsored critical research on obesity and metabolic and bariatric surgery. Previous grant recipients have studied the impact of bariatric surgery on asthma, obesity-induced heart failure, and diabetes remission, among other topics. In its 25 years, the Foundation has raised over $2 million for research and other activities.

“Research continues to mount demonstrating the power of metabolic and bariatric surgery to treat obesity and resolve or improve many related diseases yet utilization remains low,” said Michael Votta, Executive Director, TREO Foundation. “Our hope at TREO is that clinical practice catches up to scientific consensus so that more may benefit from this transformational treatment.”


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