SDRC Leadership Message

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I am pleased to welcome you all to another issue of the Stanford Diabetes Research Center (SDRC) Newsletter where you can learn about the achievements of SDRC members, collaborators and trainees and the efforts of the SDRC to support its incredible team of researchers through its pilot and feasibility grants and facilitating training programs in K-award proposals.  

I would like to reiterate SDRC’s core mission of promoting innovations in diabetes research through collaborations and use this opportunity to highlight the continued expansion of multidisciplinary and collaborative research among SDRC members in the fields of basic science, clinical science and translational science.  

An example of such a collaboration is SDRC member Dr. Justin Annes’ work with Dr. Richard Zare from the Department of Chemistry at Stanford on a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant spearheaded by Dr. Armin Arbabian from the Department of Engineering. The team is developing a minimally invasive implantable drug delivery system to deliver anti-hypoglycemic agents in response to low blood glucose. 

I am also excited about teaming up with Dr. Chaitan Khosla at ChEM-H (Center for Chemistry, Engineering and Medicine for Human Health), on a pending clinical trial proposal to test the drug Latiglutenase in a vulnerable cohort of patients with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.  

The SDRC is proud to support its junior faculty members and instructors in their career development through awards and collaborative projects. This issue of the newsletter highlights the research achievements of SDRC Pilot and Feasibility grant awardee, Dr. Nadine Nagy who is an SDRC member and Instructor at the Stanford School of Medicine. In this context, we are excited to announce that we are now accepting 2019 Pilot and Feasibility grant applications. I am also honored to collaborate with Dr. Bruce Buckingham on a project helmed by Dr. Eric Appel who recently received a career development award from the American Diabetes Association to develop new insulin formulations with ultra-fast onset of action with short duration of action. Dr. Appel is also leading an NIH funded study with Dr. Bruce Buckingham and our team to formulate a combination therapy with insulin and amylin analogues for type 1 diabetes. 

The SDRC is committed to providing resources, training and support to its instructors, students and postdoctoral scholars and promoting their research careers. I am pleased to congratulate SDRC member, Dr. Molly Tanenbaum, Clinical Researcher, licensed Clinical Psychologist and Department of Pediatrics Instructor, on the receipt of a K23 award for her research on improving diabetes management via technology and emotional support. I am also excited about spearheading a K12 award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) facilitating instructors to conduct type 1 diabetes research.

I would like to applaud the achievements of our younger trainees, Dr. Keren Hilgendorf, Dr. Owen Jiang and Dr. Yunshin Jung who won poster awards during the recently held 4th Annual Frontiers in Diabetes Research Symposium. I also congratulate graduate student Timothy Horton from Dr. Justin Annes’ group on being awarded the Diabetes Knowledge Award for advancing innovative and collaborative research in the field for his paper “Zinc-Chelating Small Molecules Preferentially Accumulate and Function within Pancreatic beta cells”. The symposium featured talks by SDRC member PIs and trainees, and also by researchers from other institutions such as keynote speaker Dr. Michael German, Dr. Suneil Koliwad and Dr. Julie Sneddon from the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), and Dr. Jon Piganelli from the University of Pittsburgh. The SDRC thrives on the exchange of ideas and alliances forged at symposia such as these.

We are excited about the high quality, interdisciplinary nature of the research that has been fostered by the SDRC and the P30 grant through which the SDRC is able to support its wonderful team of investigators, collaborators and trainees. We invite you to get involved with the SDRC by supporting our efforts to cure diabetes through research partnerships and joining the conversation on innovative diabetes research.

Dr David Maahs, M.D, PhD
Associate Director of the Stanford Diabetes Research Center
Professor, Department of Pediatrics; Chief, Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes
Stanford University School of Medicine

Director's Message

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We are proud to present the first Stanford Diabetes Research Center Newsletter! We plan to use our SDRC Newsletter to highlight the progress and achievements made by SDRC members on a regular basis for the diabetes community.

Dr. Bruce Buckingham (Professor of Pediatrics, Endocrinology and Diabetes Division): Won the ISPAD prize for Innovation in Pediatric Diabetes Care

Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi (Robert M. Bass Professor of Chemistry, Stanford): elected to the Royal Society for her ground-breaking contributions in the field of bioorthogonal chemistry

Dr. Howard Y. Chang (Virginia and D.K Ludwig Professor of Cancer Genomics and of Genetics): Received the 2018 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) award for his insightful work on long noncoding RNAs

Dr. Karl Deisseroth (D. H. Chen Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry and of Behavioral Sciences): Elected to the National Academy of Engineering, won the 2018 Kyoto Prize for his seminal work pioneering optogenetics and its applications in neuroscience and received the Transformative Research award from the NIH to advance the basic science of aging.

The mission of the SDRC is to support innovative research in diabetes by fostering a unique collaborative environment for Stanford investigators, and promoting enrichment programs to drive education and diabetes research. The foundation of our work lies in our world-class team of interdisciplinary researchers and their achievements (see text box), strong research cores, a research grant program to support pilot studies by young investigators and investigators new to diabetes research, diabetes outreach and support efforts in collaboration with Stanford Healthcare physicians, and regular programmed interactions among our members. I am honored to highlight the achievements of our distinguished SDRC members who form the foundation of our center and are recognized not only within Stanford but throughout the global scientific community for their seminal contributions towards expanding our scientific horizons. Here are recent examples of such recognition.

In this issue of the SDRC Newsletter we celebrate the success of our annual symposiums that showcase the pioneering work and focus of our research center. Our 2018 Frontiers in Diabetes Research Symposium hosted a stellar lineup of distinguished speakers from four distinct but related Affinity Groups: Bioengineering and Behavioral Sciences, Immunology and Islet Transplantation, Metabolism and Signaling, and Pancreas and Islet Biology. The Keynote presentation which was delivered by guest speaker, Dr. Carla Greenbaum, Director of the Diabetes Program at the Benaroya Research Institute in Seattle, WA. Dr. Greenbaum gave an enthralling update on Type 1 diabetes therapeutic strategies. At the symposium, the Diabetes Knowledge Award for outstanding new discoveries was awarded to SDRC member Dr. Mary Teruel in recognition of her work on elucidating circadian oscillation mechanisms in obesity.

The SDRC also organizes a popular weekly seminar series that updates the SDRC on cutting-edge research by members of our Affinity Groups. Recently these seminars have expanded to include participation by other academic institutions in the Bay Area including UC Berkeley, UC Davis and UCSF. For example the SDRC recently sponsored the Bay Area Islet Biology (BAIB) meeting which included presentations by students and postdoctoral scholars from groups at Stanford, UCSF and UC Davis.

An important mission of the SDRC is to provide mentoring and opportunities for career development in our young faculty, and our post-doctoral and doctoral trainees. We intend that this newsletter will highlight these opportunities. For example, SDRC members Drs. Justin Annes, Andrew Hoffman and colleagues have obtained support to provide medical students summertime diabetes research experiences. As detailed in this edition of our newsletter, we spotlight outstanding award-winning posters prepared and presented by two trainees, Drs. Heshan Peiris and Sooyeon Lee, at the 2018 Frontiers in Diabetes Research Symposium.

We are proud of our incredible team of researchers and their pioneering efforts to expand our knowledge of diabetes biology and collaboratively develop innovative therapeutics to cure diabetes and we invite you to support our efforts and to join us at our next symposium on April 24, 2019!


Seung Kim, M.D., Ph.D.
Director of Stanford Diabetes Research Center Professor, Developmental Biology and by courtesy of Medicine (Endocrinology)