Monday, June 25, 2007

Robert S. Sherwin, MD, Receives ADA's "Distinguished Achievement" Award

Although the American Diabetes Association (ADA) honors doctors and scientists each year whose ideas the organization supports, I have often found the ADA's choices to be ... let's see, how do I put this diplomatically ... often driven more by politics within the ADA than by scientific need or accomplishment. (Was that PC enough?) In most cases, the ADA's honorees have neither impressed me for their work in the subject matter they have been honored for, nor the researchers' particular expertise in the subject. Its not that the honorees aren't experts in their respective fields, only that I sometimes question whether the honorees are truly the best in the field. Often, other researchers have uncovered far more groundbreaking findings on the same subject than the honorees. That's one reason why I was especially pleased with this year's "Distinguished Achievement Award", which has been awarded to Robert S. Sherwin, MD.

For those of you who aren't familiar with Dr. Sherwin, he is the Director and a key researcher at the JDRF-sponsored Yale Center for the Study of Hypoglycemia. His own clinical interests include patients with type 1 diabetes, intensified insulin therapy and hypoglycemia associated with diabetes. He is also the editor of one of the major medical textbooks on diabetes and he wrote the chapter on diabetes for the Cecil Textbook of Medicine. In addition, Dr. Sherwin has served as the Chairman of the Medical Science Advisory Board of JDRF and he is also on the editorial boards of several leading diabetes and endocrine journals. Dr. Sherwin's activities are focused in two primary areas: 1) glucose counterregulation and 2) the immune mechanisms leading to Type 1 diabetes. While the ADA has chosen to focus primarily on Dr. Sherwin's accomplishments related to the DCCT, in my opinion, his work into hypoglycemia and intensive insulin therapy have been far more noteworthy.

As some people may recall, back in February 2005, I hosted an online chat with Dr. Sherwin and found him to be very approachable when I set up the chat, and he was truly delightful to work with, showing his personality as a doctor as well. Although DiabetesStation transcripts are no longer readily accessible online, I have archived the transcript for that program HERE.

I've listed the American Diabetes Association's announcement (with a few relevant edits to truncate the text included) for you below.

Robert S. Sherwin, MD, Receives American Diabetes Association's Distinguished Achievement Award

Sherwin Presented with Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement Award

Chicago, IL (June 25, 2007) - The American Diabetes Association (ADA), the nation's largest, voluntary diabetes-related health organization, announced today that Robert S. Sherwin, MD, received the Association's prestigious Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement Award at the organization's 67th Scientific Sessions, which runs through June 26.

The Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement Award is the ADA's highest scientific award and honors an individual who has made significant, long term contributions to our understanding of diabetes, its treatment and/or prevention. The award is named after Nobel Prize winner Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin treatment for diabetes.

"On behalf of the American Diabetes Association, we are delighted to present this prestigious award to Dr. Robert Sherwin," said Larry C. Deeb, MD, President, Medicine & Science, of the American Diabetes Association. "His direct contributions to the development of insulin pump therapy and the landmark Diabetes Control and Complications Trial have led to major improvements in the care of patients with diabetes and his leadership in this area of research should be applauded."

Dr. Sherwin is currently the CNH Long Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven and the director of the Yale Center for Clinical Investigation and the Diabetes Endocrinology Research Center. He is internationally recognized for his work in addressing fundamental mechanisms at the bedside and in the laboratory that are directly relevant to diabetes care. He helped to organize and co-direct the Kroc multicenter trial which established that a long-term study analyzing the role of glucose in diabetic complications was possible. The DCCT was, to a large extent, based on the Kroc protocol.

Dr. Sherwin's current research explores the major complication of insulin replacement therapy, namely hypoglycemia (low blood glucose). He is testing the hypothesis that hypoglycemia promotes more hypoglycemia by altering the brain's ability to sense glucose and activate hypoglycemia defense systems. Findings from this research could lead to novel interventions in reducing the risk of hypoglycemia. He is also testing a vaccination strategy for the prevention of type 1 diabetes, based on his recent discovery that Reg proteins, normally associated with pancreas regeneration, act as autoantigens in type 1 diabetes and that diabetes is accelerated when this protein is attacked.

More than 13,000 top scientists, physicians and other health care professionals from around the world shared cutting-edge research, treatment recommendations and advances toward a cure for diabetes at the Association's 67th Scientific Sessions in Chicago, IL.

The American Diabetes Association is the nation's premier voluntary health organization supporting diabetes research, information and advocacy. The Association's mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. Founded in 1940, the Association provides services to hundreds of communities across the country. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

For Immediate Release Contact: Rachel Morgan 703-549-1500 ext. 2290


BetterCell said...

Thanks Scott for making available that Transcript with Dr. Robert S. Sherman as guest.
Do you know if Mt. Sinai is still involved w/counter-regulation in T1DM regarding Hypoglycemia?
Other worthy people(there are many) to mention in addition to Dr. Sherman would be Philip Cryer, MD and Aaron Vinnick, MD.
Both have a great understanding/interest/knowledge in Hypoglycemia Unawareness.

Scott S said...

Thanks, to the best of my knowledge, there are several researchers at Mt. Sinai who are researching counter-regulation. The only issue I am aware of is that its a tiny team, and I don't know if those doctors also have a clinical practice. It might be worth looking through the published literature on the subject and getting the names, and then contacting them directly. Let me know if you have any luck!

Anonymous said...

An intereseting paper is recently published in a journal (Current Diabetes Reviews ( Volume 5 Issue 2 pp.79-91) on the problem of hypoglycemia unawareness. This has very recent research update and new theory which might yield the answer to this problem.