Several Diabetes Center research associates have been doing their own version of passing the baton – or pipette – this summer as they prepare to enter prestigious graduate research or medical school programs, propelling them to careers that got much of their start in the laboratories of the Diabetes Center.
Diabetes Center Associate Director Michael German, M.D., professor in the UCSF Department of Medicine and the Justine K. Schreyer Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research, was named a 2007 JDRF Scholar – the second year in a row that a Diabetes Center researcher has received this award.
Assistant Professor Eric Rulifson, Ph.D. thinks there’s a lot to learn about diabetes from the humble fruit fly. Never mind that fruit flies have no pancreas - he is convinced that they teach us about how islet cells develop and how they might one day be grown artificially. Rulifson was initially studying wing development in fruit flies (called Drosophila melanogaster) as a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University.
It is not just Marlene Bedrich’s patients who love her, but also her professional colleagues at the Diabetes Teaching Center – so much so that they nominated her for ambulatory care nurse of the year award, an honor she received during Nurses’ Week in May. Marlene, in turn, thinks the world of her colleagues, including her half-time assistant who is also a licensed vocational nurse, and the endocrinologists she finds at once brilliant, and humble.
Diabetes Center researcher Doug Hanahan, Ph.D., was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in recognition of his contributions to diabetes and cancer research. He joins 4,000 American fellows of this interdisciplinary research center that has studied complex and emerging policy issues since 1780.
On May 3, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases announced that it would renew funding for the Immune Tolerance Network, the international research consortium based at the Diabetes Center at UCSF.
The Endocrine Society is giving its highest award, the Fred Conrad Koch Award, to Diabetes Center founding member John Baxter, M.D. at its annual meeting June 2 – 5 in Toronto. The award recognizes exceptional contributions to endocrinology. The Endocrine Society is pleased to announce that John D. Baxter, M.D., is the 2007 recipient of its highest award - the Fred Conrad Koch Award.
There was a dual message in a talk at UCSF by Michael Boehnke, biostatistics professor at University of Michigan: large studies that may involve 10,000 or more patients could potentially suggest an inherited increased susceptibility. But the rapid rise in development of type 2 diabetes still needs to be addressed through diet and exercise.
Diabetes Center researcher Matthias Hebrok, PhD was recently appointed to this newly established Endowed Chair, a well-deserved recognition of the ongoing contributions Dr. Hebrok has made to the field of diabetes research. The Chair is funded with a gift from the Hurlbut-Johnson Charitable Trust of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Throughout his career, his colleagues and peers in the scientific community, as well as his post-doctoral fellows and students, have all recognized Dr.
The past decade has seen a significant increase in the number of potentially tolerogenic therapies for treatment of new-onset diabetes. However, most treatments are antigen nonspecific, and the mechanism for the maintenance of long-term tolerance remains unclear. In a recent study reported and published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine by UCSF investigators Brian T. Fife, Ph.D. and Jeffrey A.
Feroz Papa, MD PhD is intrigued by shapes – specifically how proteins are folded into the distinctly shaped structures that allow them to perform highly specific tasks. If proteins unfold in cells, they can aggregate and cause these cells to become damaged. Unfortunately, it appears that insulin-producing beta cells can be very easily damaged through the aggregation of unfolded proteins.
In a recent study reported and published last month in the Journal of Experimental Medicine by UCSF investigators Brian Fife, Ph.D. and Jeff Bluestone, Ph.D., it has been shown that insulin itself is a contributing factor in the progression of type 1 diabetes and to prevent the disease, we must selectively target the insulin-specific, autoimmune T cells.
Dr. Michael German, Diabetes Center researcher and clinician, was just named to the AAP, a non-profit professional organization founded in 1885 for “the advancement of scientific and practical medicine.” Membership is limited to the “elite” among the nation’s physician-scientist community and is predicated on a long history of outstanding research achievement. Last year, Dr. German was appointed to the Justine K. Schreyer Endowed Chair in Diabetes Research.