N.Z. university receives EC grant to study the relationship between TB and type 2 diabetes

The European Commission recently awarded a New Zealand University $416,000 to study the relationship between tuberculosis and type 2 diabetes.

Officials from the University of Otago's Center for International Health said that the grant is the largest the center has received in the five years since it was founded, and they hope it is an indication that the center is gaining international recognition, according to

Professor Phillip Hill, one of the center's co-directors, said it was a unique achievement to have received such a large portion of the nearly $8 million the EC awarded in total for the TB project.

"We couldn't apply on our own; we needed to be part of a consortium and offer something that is not easily available within the EU," Hill said, reports.

Hill attributed the center's previous TB field studies and growing collaboration with Indonesia's Padjadjaran University as part of its gaining momentum and a critical reason why it was awarded the grant.

Hill, who has an extensive background in TB research conducted in the developing world, will be part of a multidisciplinary program that links field sites in Romania, Peru, South Africa and Indonesia. Each of the countries is considered TB-endemic and is experiencing a rapid growth in type 2 diabetes.