SOURCE: American Diabetes Association

June 09, 2008 14:00 ET

Ralph A. DeFronzo, MD, Receives American Diabetes Association's Most Prestigious Science Award

DeFronzo Presented With Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement

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 Ralph A. DeFronzo, MD, received the Association's most prestigious award, the Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement, at the organization's 68th Scientific Sessions, which run through June 10, 2008.

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. DeFronzo," said John Buse, MD, PhD, President, Medicine & Science, of the American Diabetes Association. "Dr. DeFronzo's name is virtually synonymous with insulin resistance as a core concept in the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes. His research has been highly creative and insightful for more than 30 years."

Currently a professor of medicine and chief of the Diabetes Division at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the South Texas Veterans Health Care System, Audie L. Murphy Division, in San Antonio, Dr. DeFronzo has combined the disciplines of clinical and basic laboratory investigation to explore type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance syndrome. He was the first to provide unequivocal evidence that type 2 diabetic patients were severely resistant to insulin. In addition to his many basic and fundamental clinical observations in diabetes, Dr. DeFronzo has made major contributions to the development of new interventional strategies for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, including metformin, thiazolidinediones, and exenatide (GLP-1).

Dr. DeFronzo has been an active ADA volunteer in many scientific, clinical, and educational activities for the last 25 years. As a member of the ADA's Legal Advisory Committee, Dr. DeFronzo has organized a group of U.S. diabetologists who assist the legal community in preventing discrimination against individuals with diabetes.

Dr. DeFronzo's scientific credentials are well known to researchers throughout the world. He has published over 500 primary articles in peer-reviewed journals. He has had 36 consecutive years of funding from the National Institute of Health (through 2011) and 20 consecutive years of Veterans Affairs funding for his research.

Dr. DeFronzo also is deputy director of the Texas Diabetes Institute, a University Health System treatment and clinical research facility located in San Antonio's West Side, which has a large Hispanic population and high prevalence rate of type 2 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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