SOURCE: American Diabetes Association

June 09, 2008 14:00 ET

Matthias G. von Herrath, MD, Receives American Diabetes Association's Distinguished Science Award

von Herrath Presented With Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - June 9, 2008) - The American Diabetes Association (ADA), the nation's leading voluntary health organization in the fight against diabetes, announced today that Matthias G. von Herrath, MD, received the Association's prestigious Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award at the organization's 68th Scientific Sessions, which run through June 10, 2008.

The Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award recognizes outstanding scientific achievement in the field of diabetes, taking into consideration independence of thought and originality.

"On behalf of the American Diabetes Association, we are delighted to present this prestigious award to Dr. von Herrath," said John Buse, MD, PhD, President, Medicine & Science, of the American Diabetes Association. "He uniquely combines imaginative and novel concepts, elegant experiments, and an intense concentration on translating the latest findings to everyday practice."

Currently a professor of immunology at La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology, La Jolla, California, and an adjunct professor of pediatrics at University of California, San Diego, Dr. von Herrath is recognized as one of the top experts investigating the immune pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes. He has been at the forefront of devising ways to use novel immunotherapeutic strategies, most notably his development of a combination therapy that is showing significant promise against type 1 diabetes, when caught in the early stages. Dr. von Herrath's two-pronged therapy, tested in mice, used a combination of a proinsulin peptide vaccine and the anti-CD3 antibody to combat the destruction of insulin-producing islet cells, the underlying cause of type 1 diabetes. The combination reversed recent onset type 1 diabetes in the majority of animals tested. Further testing is under way.

Dr. von Herrath also studies several other approaches to diabetes and is an acknowledged expert in the environmental etiology of type 1 diabetes.

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 68th Scientific Sessions in San Francisco, CA.

Diabetes is a serious disease that affects the body's ability to produce or respond properly to insulin, a hormone that allows blood sugar to enter the cells of the body and be used for energy. Nearly 21 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes. An additional 54 million have pre-diabetes. Diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death by disease in the United States and it has no cure.

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 www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

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