Daniel J. Drucker, a senior investigator at Sinai Health System’s Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute and a professor of medicine at University of Toronto, was today announced as the 2019 recipient of the EASD-Novo Nordisk Foundation Diabetes Prize for Excellence. The Prize is awarded to recognize outstanding research or technology contributions that increase knowledge of diabetes, its disease mechanisms or its complications, and is accompanied by €806,000, or approximately $1,171,000.00 CAD.
Dr. Drucker’s body of research has previously led to the development of life-changing therapies for people with diabetes. The prize is being awarded specifically for his outstanding research on gut hormones, which has led to pioneering discoveries and the development of life-changing therapies.
“When we started out 35 years ago, only a few researchers were interested in gut hormones. We could not have imagined that this knowledge would be translated into multiple new therapies that help millions of people with severe metabolic disorders today,” says Daniel J. Drucker. “I am ecstatic and honoured to receive the 2019 EASD–Novo Nordisk Foundation Diabetes Prize for Excellence. This is wonderful recognition of the ongoing scientific contributions of my laboratory trainees and will be enormously meaningful for us moving forward as we seek new mechanisms and opportunities for linking gut hormone action to the therapy of metabolic disorders.”
About Dr. Drucker
Dr. Drucker’s pioneering diabetes research has focused on a group of hormones called incretins, which help the pancreas produce insulin to use the energy it receives from food. When working properly, incretins help the body to control blood glucose and insulin secretion, regulate appetite, control the absorption of nutrients from food and convert those nutrients to energy.
In Type 2 diabetes, an incretin called glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) is in short supply or is affected by a protein that makes it inactive. Dr. Drucker’s laboratory uncovered the pathways that led to the development of two drug therapies that mimic and enhance GLP-1 so it can work naturally.
Dr. Drucker began his career as a clinical endocrinologist but decided to focus on research when he recognized its potential to improve lives. He is a senior researcher at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute at Sinai Health System in Toronto. Dr. Drucker has won multiple awards throughout his distinguished career, including the 2009 Clinical Investigator Award from the Endocrine Society in Washington, D.C.; the 2014 Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement from the American Diabetes Association; in 2015 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London; and the 2019 Harold Hamm International Prize for Biomedical Research in Diabetes. His 350 publications have been cited more than 60,000 times.
About the EASD- Novo Nordisk Foundation Diabetes Prize for Excellence
The EASD-Novo Nordisk Foundation Diabetes Prize for Excellence is awarded in collaboration between the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) and the Novo Nordisk Foundation, an independent Danish foundation. The Prize recipient’s research may focus on prevention, treatment and/or basic research in physiological biochemistry. The research may also be clinically oriented. In addition, the Prize may be awarded for the “discovery of the decade” within diabetes research.
The Prize will be officially awarded at a ceremony at the 55th EASD Annual Meeting in Barcelona, Spain on 18 September.
About Sinai Health System
Sinai Health System is comprised of Mount Sinai Hospital, Bridgepoint Active Healthcare, Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute and Circle of Care. As an integrated health system, it delivers exceptional care from healthy beginnings to healthy aging, especially for people with specialized and complex health needs, in hospital, community and home. Sinai Health System discovers and translates scientific breakthroughs, develops practical health solutions, educates future clinical and scientific leaders and leads efforts to eliminate health inequities. Its Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute ranks in the top ten biomedical research institutes in the world. Sinai Health System is a full affiliate of the University of Toronto. www.sinaihealthsystem.ca