Director's Message


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)