Science and Medicine: Diabetes

Dr. Nir Barzilai

Dr. Barzilai is the Director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. He is The Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Professor of Aging Research, Professor of Medicine and Molecular Genetics and a member of the Diabetes Research Center, the Divisions of Endocrinology and Geriatrics. He is also the Director of the Diabetes Research and Training Center Physiology core. Dr. Barzilai’s interests focus on several basic mechanisms in the biology of aging, including the biological effects of nutrients on extending life and the genetic determinants of life span. Indeed, he has discovered the first longevity gene in humans, and is further characterizing the phenotype and genotype of humans with exceptional longevity through an NIH supported Program Project. He is also leading a Program Project to investigate the metabolic decline with aging and its impact on longevity. He received numerous grants, among them ones from the National Institute of Aging (NIA), American Federation of Aging Research, and the Ellison Medical Foundation. Dr. Barzilai has published over 160 peer-reviewed papers, reviews and chapters in textbooks. He is an advisor to the National Institutes of Health on several projects and initiatives and study sections. He serves on several editorial boards and is a reviewer for numerous other journals. Dr. Barzilai was a recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Beeson Fellow for Aging Research, the Senior Ellison Foundation award, the Paul Glenn Foundation award and the NIA- Nathan Shock Award for his contributions in elucidating metabolic and genetic mechanisms of aging, and will receive the 2010 Irving S. Wright Award of Distinction in Aging Research Award. In his capacity as the Director of the Institute for Aging research at Einstein he leads or assists in 5 large programmatic (P01) approaches to biology of aging, a training grant (T32) and has additional individual grants (R01). Sample Titles Aging...

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Dr. Meredith Hawkins

Dr. Meredith Hawkins is associate professor of medicine in the diabetes research and training center at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. Her current research interests include the regulation of hepatic glucose production by hyperglycemia per se in type 2 diabetes mellitus, and the effects of nutrient excess on metabolic features of the insulin resistance syndrome. Dr. Hawkins has a tremendous interest to restrain the burgeoning epidemic of obesity and diabetes in the developing world. During the last ten years she has worked with key institutions in Uganda, Rwanda and India, to collaborate toward this vision. Dr. Hawkins earned her M.D. degree cum laude from the University of Toronto and a Master of Science in clinical research methods cum laude from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She is associate editor of the “American Journal of Physiology,” and secretary treasurer of the American Federation of Medical Research. Dr. Hawkins’ current research interests include the effects of nutrient excess on insulin resistance, nutritional regulation of adipose tissue macrophages, and the regulation of hepatic glucose production by hyperglycemia per se in diabetes mellitus. Dr. Hawkins is a Beeson Scholar of the American Federation of Aging Research, and has received research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International and the Diabetes Action Foundation International. She is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Outstanding Clinical Associate Physician Award from the National Institutes of Health and the Junior Physician Scientist Award from the American Federation of Medical Research. She was recently awarded the Novartis Young Investigator award in Diabetes Research, an international prize given to the most outstanding clinical investigator under the age of 45 who is conducting diabetes or obesity research. Sample Titles Global Diabetes: Tackling the Twenty-First Century...

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Dr. Michael Lipton

Born in Boston and raised in upstate New York and Southern California, Dr. Lipton entered the Six-Year Liberal Arts – Medicine Program at Boston University in 1983. The program, designed to develop humanistic physicians, channeled students toward the liberal arts and clinical medicine. Dr. Lipton minored in Spanish literature with a special interest in contemporary Castilian fiction (Miguel Delibes was a favorite), including study in Salamanca, Spain. Key interests during medical school were the neurosciences and, in particular, brain substrates of psychiatric disease. Nonetheless, the opportunity to exploit technology and treat disease less invasively drew Dr. Lipton to training in Diagnostic Radiology and Neuroradiology. In his first faculty appointment as assistant professor of radiology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, through a newly established collaborative relationship between Einstein and the Center for Advanced Brain Imaging (CABI) at the Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research (NKI), Dr. Lipton was immersed in neuroimaging research and developed his own research program. With the support of a National Institutes of Health Mentored Clinical Scientist Career Development Award, he completed a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Einstein, executing work that redefined our understanding of brain organization using electrical and hemodynamic (MRI) measures. Subsequently, Dr. Lipton was promoted to associate professor of radiology, psychiatry and behavioral sciences and neuroscience at Einstein and named associate director of the Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center. In parallel with his basic science work, Dr. Lipton directs a program investigating mild traumatic brain injury and its effects on cognitive disability. Sample Titles Is There Any Such Thing as a Minor Head Injury? Detecting Microscopic Brain Injury in Living Humans Imaging Biomarkers to Improve Patient Care and Facilitate Novel Treatments Safety Issue in MRI: What Everyone Needs to...

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Dr. Jeffrey Pessin

Dr. Pessin is the diabetes center director and the Judy R. and Alfred A. Rosenberg Professorial Chair in Diabetes Research at The Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. He received his B.A./MA. degrees from Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, NY and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana, Illinois. He then was a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Michael Czech at The University of Massachusetts Medical Center and was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Physiology & Biophysics at The University of Iowa in 1983. Dr. Pessin was promoted to Associate Professor (1988) and Professor (1991). He was also appointed as the Associate Director of The University of Iowa Diabetes Center in 1991 and received the Eli Lilly Outstanding Investigator Award from the American Diabetes Association in 1996 and The University of Iowa Foundation Distinguished Professorship in 2001. In 2003 he became the Chair of the Department of Pharmacological Sciences at Stony Brook University where he received the William and Jane Knapp Professorial Chair of Pharmacological Sciences. Dr. Pessin accepted his current position in 2008. Dr. Pessin’s research in diabetes and insulin action has centered on the molecular analysis of receptor tyrosine kinase activity and regulation of proteins kinases, small GTP binding protein cascades that control the rate of glucose uptake and metabolism in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. More recently his laboratory has been investigating the role of adult progenitor cells in the development of adiposity. These efforts utilize state-of-the-art cell biological approaches including microinjection and living single cell confocal fluorescent microscopy in cell model systems and homologous recombination in mice to generate several genetic animal models of insulin resistance and diabetes. These mouse models of insulin resistance are providing important new information for our understanding of the molecular events causing altered metabolism and the basis for more effective treatments of diabetes and metabolic dysregulation. As a well-established and internationally recognized research scientist, Dr. Pessin has served on numerous scientific review panels, research boards and program...

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