‘Triple Crown’ of diabetes research awards

UTSW researcher wins ‘Triple Crown’ of diabetes research awards

Dr. Philipp Scherer
Dr. Philipp Scherer

UT Southwestern’s Dr. Philipp Scherer has become the first scientist to win what could be called the “Triple Crown” of diabetes research recognition. Dr. Scherer, Director of the Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research, received the 2018 Manpei Suzuki International Prize for Diabetes Research in recognition of his discovery of adiponectin, a hormone released by fat cells, and subsequent research into the hormone’s role in fending off diabetes.

His research has “deepened and widened our understanding of diabetes, obesity, and energy homeostasis,” according to the Manpei Suzuki Diabetes Foundation, which bestows the $150,000 prize.

Dr. Scherer was recognized in 2017 with what is considered the top European award in diabetes research, the EASD-Novo Nordisk Foundation Diabetes Prize for Excellence, given by the Germany-based European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) and the Novo Nordisk Foundation of Denmark. In 2015, he received the prestigious Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement from the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

Dr. Scherer, a Professor of Internal Medicine and Cell Biology, holds the Gifford O. Touchstone, Jr. and Randolph G. Touchstone Distinguished Chair in Diabetes Research.

Hobbs, Mendelson receive Endocrine Society Laureate Awards

Drs. Helen Hobbs and Carole Mendelson
Drs. Helen Hobbs (left) and Carole Mendelson

Drs. Helen Hobbs and Carole Mendelson received 2019 Laureate Awards from the Endocrine Society at ENDO 2019, the Society’s 101st Annual Meeting & Expo in March. The Endocrine Society is the world’s oldest and largest organization of health care professionals devoted to hormone research and care for people with hormone-related conditions.

Dr. Hobbs, Director of the Eugene McDermott Center for Human Growth and Development, Professor of Internal Medicine and Molecular Genetics, and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, was recognized with the Gerald D. Aurbach Award for Outstanding Translational Research. She holds the Eugene McDermott Distinguished Chair for the Study of Human Growth and Development, the Philip O’Bryan Montgomery, Jr., M.D. Distinguished Chair in Developmental Biology, and the 1995 Dallas Heart Ball Chair in Cardiology Research.

The society honored Dr. Mendelson, Professor of Biochemistry and Obstetrics and Gynecology at UT Southwestern and Director of the North Texas March of Dimes Birth Defects Center, with the Sidney H. Ingbar Distinguished Service Award. During more than three decades, Dr. Mendelson has had multiple roles and chaired several Endocrine Society committees.

Nijhawan, Zhu elected to American Society for Clinical Investigation

Drs. Deepak Nijhawan and Hao Zhu
Drs. Deepak Nijhawan (left) and Hao Zhu

Dr. Deepak Nijhawan, Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine and Biochemistry, and Dr. Hao Zhu, an Associate Professor at the Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI) and of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, have been elected to membership in the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI). An honor society for early career physician-scientists, ASCI includes more than 3,100 members.

In 2018, Dr. Nijhawan’s work identifying cancer treatment targets led to his selection as a co-recipient of the ASCI’s Donald Seldin-Holly Smith Award for Pioneering Research. In particular, his laboratory has made significant advances working with the anti-cancer agents indisulam and CD437. In 2016, Dr. Nijhawan’s group identified the protein target of CD437, followed the next year by the identification of the target of indisulam and of cancer-cell variants most susceptible to its effects.

Dr. Zhu, a faculty member since 2012, investigates the relationship among injury, regeneration, and cancer. His research team seeks to identify the genes and mechanisms that regulate regenerative capacity in the liver and understand how these contribute to the development of hepatocellular carcinoma – the third-leading cause of cancer death in the world.