Q&A | Glenn Matfin, M.D., of the Joslin Adult Clinic
Thursday, June 17, 2010
When he joined Joslin as a senior staff physician this spring, Glenn Matfin, M.D., brought a wealth of experience in diabetes and related conditions, acquired both in academia and in pharmaceutical medicine.
Originally from the United Kingdom, Dr. Matfin recently took the time to answer six questions about his career and his plans at Joslin.
What led you to specialize in diabetes and endocrinology?
After I graduated from medical school at the University of Leeds in 1987, in my fellowship I worked for Professor Sir George Alberti, a very prominent diabetes expert who later became president of the International Diabetes Federation. He really stimulated my interest in the field.
Where did your career take you then?
I continued my diabetes and endocrine training at the University of London, and then I moved to the United States, first at the University of South Florida and ultimately working with the Pima Indians in Phoenix, Arizona, for the National Institutes of Health—a fascinating experience! Then I returned to the U.K. as a Consultant Physician and diabetes expert in the National Health Service.
Next, a headhunter recruited me into the pharmaceutical industry, where I worked on the clinical development of various drugs such as Avandia. My final job in industry was as global head and vice president of medical and scientific affairs at a major pharmaceutical company based in the U.S. (During that time, I continued to see patients at New York University, where I am still on faculty.) I returned to full-time clinical practice in the U.K. before coming to Joslin.
How did you end up at Joslin?
From a personal and professional perspective, it’s an excellent opportunity to continue to grow. Joslin obviously is the world’s preeminent diabetes center, and it gives you a fantastic opportunity to interact with some of the top clinical providers and researchers in diabetes.
What is your focus here?
I’m a fulltime adult diabetes provider, so that will take the majority of my time. But I’ve also acquired other skill sets over the last 20 years, and I’m looking to see what else I can contribute. I’m very interested in medical education and in improving quality of care for diabetes patients. (As part of that, I’m the editor in chief of a new journal called Therapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism.) I’m also an expert in drug safety and in clinical research.
Was clinical research the focus of your time in industry?
Yes, I managed more than a billion dollars of research funds when I was in industry. I’ve led or designed more than 100 clinical trials involving more than 100,000 subjects. In addition, I was involved in numerous medical education activities for healthcare providers both in the U.S. and globally.
What research do you concentrate on now?
My main interest is in type 2 diabetes and the whole spectrum of disorders related to it (i.e. the metabolic syndrome), and how you can best deliver day-to-day care to diabetes patients.
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