HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $10.7 million grant to a Marshall University researcher to study obesity and obesity-related conditions.

The five-year grant was awarded to Uma Sundaram, who is vice dean for research at Marshall’s School of Medicine and a board-certified gastroenterologist.

Sundaram will be the principal investigator and program director of the Appalachian Center for Cellular transport in Obesity-Related Disorders at the medical school. Sundaram said in a news release that many diseases which show up in West Virginia and central Appalachia are rooted in the region’s widespread obesity.