After being involved in diabetes and endocrine research at UCSF for nearly 40 years – a distinguished career that includes the breakthrough cloning of the growth hormone gene and first synthesis of growth hormone, the development of the UCSF Diabetes Center, the presidency of the Endocrine Society, and election to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences – you’d think John Baxter, MD would be ready to focus on his love of fishing. Instead of retirement, Dr. Baxter has embraced a new opportunity – developing the diabetes center and genomic medicine programs at Methodist Hospital Research Institute in Houston.
As his last hurrah at UCSF, Dr. Baxter and his colleagues published in the respected journal,Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS ), the first human clinical data involving a novel thyroid hormone-like compound – KB2115. This compound lowers levels of bad (LDL) cholesterol without the adverse cardiac effects often found with classic thyroid hormone therapies. If the current Phase IIb study continues to show that KB2115 is safe and effective in lowering cholesterol, expect to see new drugs to emerge as alternatives and/or adjunct therapies to today’s widely prescribed statin drugs. Dr. Baxter, we wish you continued success with your research, and we thank you for your years of dedicated leadership.