JDRF Honors Longtime Diabetes Researcher with Excellence in Clinical Research Award

JDRF Honors Longtime Diabetes Researcher with Excellence in Clinical Research Award

–Named after Mary Tyler Moore and S. Robert Levine, MD, prestigious award celebrates Dr. George S. Eisenbarth for his contributions to research toward treating and preventing type 1 diabetes–

Contact:             
Tara Wilcox-Ghanoonparvar
twilcox-ghanoonparvar@jdrf.org

(212) 479-7524


New York, NY, July 12, 2012
–JDRF will present its 10th annual Mary Tyler Moore and S. Robert Levine Excellence in Clinical Research Award on Saturday, July 14, to George S. Eisenbarth, MD, Ph.D.-executive director of the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, professor of pediatrics, medicine, and immunology at the University of Colorado Denver, and former president (2006) of the Clinical Immunology Society. The award will be given at the Barbara Davis Keystone Conference, “Practical Ways to Achieve Targets in Diabetes Care,” in Keystone, CO.

The Excellence in Clinical Research Award recognizes outstanding clinical and translational type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. The prestigious award is named in honor of JDRF’s international chairman, Mary Tyler Moore-who has T1D-and her husband, S. Robert Levine, MD, for their extraordinary commitment to JDRF’s mission to find a cure for T1D and improve the lives of those living with the disease through the support of research.

“With this award, JDRF expresses its deep appreciation of Dr. Eisenbarth’s contributions to type 1 diabetes research that have transformed our understanding of the disease and guided the design of type 1 diabetes clinical trials,” said JDRF’s chief scientific officer, Richard Insel, MD, who presented the award. “Dr. Eisenbarth’s model of the development and progression of type 1 diabetes has provided a framework for predicting the occurrence of disease, for staging patients along the disease pathway, and for identifying novel ways to cure and prevent type 1 diabetes.”

Dr. Eisenbarth’s major area of research has been the prediction and prevention of T1D and other autoimmune disorders. He discovered certain insulin antibodies in the blood of non-diabetic twins whose siblings had diabetes, and then traced these antibodies to certain genes in the immune system. In doing so, Dr. Eisenbarth paved the way for genetic testing to determine T1D risk in newborns. Today’s studies that test possible treatments to slow or halt T1D progression, and current research into possible preventions for the disease, are byproducts of Dr. Eisenbarth’s significant research.

“We are honored to give this year’s award to Dr. Eisenbarth, whose lifetime of commitment to uncovering the natural history and genetic and immunologic mysteries of type 1 diabetes has led to profound discoveries that continue to help research move forward,” said Ms. Moore and Dr. Levine. “Thanks to his findings, we are closer than ever before to understanding the intricacies that may lead to type 1 diabetes, and to one day stopping its development once and for all. We thank Dr. Eisenbarth for all he has done for the millions of people affected by and at risk for this disease.”

Prior to this latest accolade, Dr. Eisenbarth has received numerous awards for his work, most recently including the Pasteur-Weizmann/Servier Prize in Biomedicine, the Donald F. Steiner Award for Outstanding Diabetes Research, the Banting Award for Scientific Achievement, and  the JDRF David Rumbough Award.

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About Mary Tyler Moore and S. Robert Levine

Mary Tyler Moore has served as JDRF’s International Chairman for 28 years, supporting the organization’s mission with a willingness to share her personal story of type 1 diabetes (T1D) publicly. Her frequent visits to Capitol Hill, her congressional testimony, and her highly visible public service campaigns have helped to strengthen JDRF’s research and advocacy efforts on behalf of people with T1D. She and her husband, S. Robert Levine, MD, have contributed generously to JDRF, initiating such programs as JDRF’s Stem Cell Research Fund. A leading JDRF volunteer, Dr. Levine has served on the International Board of Directors and Executive Committee, the Board committees for Government Relations, Marketing and Communications, and Clinical Affairs, and currently on JDRF’s Board of Chancellors.

About T1D

In T1D, a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables people to get energy from food. People with T1D need to test their blood sugar and give themselves insulin (with injections or an insulin pump) multiple times every day, and carefully balance insulin doses with eating and daily activities throughout the day and night. However, insulin is not a cure for diabetes, and even with that intensive care, a significant portion of the day is still spent with either high or low blood sugar, placing people with T1D at risk for devastating complications such as heart attack, stroke, blindness, and amputation.

About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents, and adults with this disease, JDRF is now the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. The goal of JDRF research is to improve the lives of all people affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners who share this goal.

Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.7 billion to diabetes research. Past JDRF efforts have helped to significantly advance the care of people with this disease, and have expanded the critical scientific understanding of T1D. JDRF will not rest until T1D is fully conquered. More than 80 percent of JDRF’s expenditures directly support research and research-related education.