Diabetes Research Panel on April 2 at the University Club in New York City

If you are interested in hearing from leading scientists working towards a cure for diabetes, you will want to attend the Diabetes Research Panel on Wednesday, April 2 at the University Club in New York City. Moderated by the Co-Directors of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, the event brings together a group of internationally known diabetes researchers from Columbia University and the Berrie Center—and an audience of patients with diabetes who receive their care at the Berrie Center, and their family and friends.  

The Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, is the only comprehensive diabetes center in New York City and one of only a few in the world where the clinical and research programs are so tightly coordinated. Under the leadership of Co-Directors, Drs. Robin Goland, J. Merrill Eastman Professor of Clinical Diabetes, and Rudy Leibel, Christopher J. Murphy Professor of Diabetes Research, the Berrie Center combines a one-of-a kind, clinical program for its patients—and a world-renowned cutting-edge basic and translational diabetes research program aimed, ultimately, at a cure for diabetes.

The Diabetes Research Panel highlights the diabetes research being done at the Berrie Center and around the world. It is also a way to introduce the Berrie Center diabetes research scientists—the people who are on the front lines of diabetes research—to the community of Berrie Center patients and families. The event begins with Drs. Goland and Leibel introducing the scientists, who will each speak briefly about their diabetes research. The rest of the evening is devoted to questions and answers—which makes each event unscripted, free flowing, and unique.

“I was struck by the high level of interaction between the panelists and the audience, who I would have to describe as a pretty educated, sophisticated group for lay people,” said Mary Elizabeth Bunzel, who is hosting the event for the second year with Paul B. Healy and Alka K. Singh, all three members of the Berrie Center Leadership Council. “And there were a lot of young people in the audience. Our questions were distilled, answered, respected and appreciated. There was so much good energy in the room, the solution to the problem seemed a lot more immediate.”

The Diabetes Research Panel scientists are Berrie Center and Columbia faculty members, Domenico Accili, MD, Russell Berrie Foundation Professor of Medicine, an international leader in the field of beta cell biology; Wendy Chung, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, a renowned clinical and molecular geneticist; Rebecca Haeusler, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology, who studies the connection between diabetes and cardiovascular diseases; Dieter Egli, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, a stem cell scientist whose discovery of a new way to make patient-specific stem cells was named Time Magazine’s #1 medical discovery of 2011; and Michael Rosenbaum, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, an expert on the physiology of body weight regulation.

"Berrie Center faculty do an excellent job of separating the hope from the hype in diabetes research,” said Dr. Goland. “Also and very importantly, the faculty explains the scientific advances in a way that is understandable by people who are not scientists. There is a lot of reason for hope and optimism. I believe that I will see a cure for type 1 diabetes in my lifetime."

Added Dr. Leibel, "This forum provides a great vehicle for our constituency to gain insight into the broad range of the research enterprise at Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, and to appreciate the relevance of that research to the clinical issues that concern them."

To RSVP to the Diabetes Research Panel contact Morgan Tupper at 212-304-7210 or met2170@columbia.edu