BOSTON – (June 1, 2015) – In a ceremony on May 15 in Dublin, Ireland, The Fondation IPSEN awarded C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., Chief Academic Officer and Senior Vice President at Joslin Diabetes Center and the Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, the 2015 Endocrine Regulation Prize. This prize is given to a researcher who has conducted research that provides a better understanding of the role of neuroendocrine interactions in regulating the body’s major metabolic functions. This award recognizes a significant body of work rather than a single discovery.
“I was completely surprised to learn that I was selected to receive the Ispen Endocrine Regulation Prize as it covers the entire field of endocrinology and metabolism, not just diabetes,” said Dr. Kahn. “Many of the previous awardees are very special people in the field, so I am honored to be counted among these ranks.”
Dr. Kahn received the award in a ceremony hosted by the European Congress of Endocrinology. Along with the award, Dr. Kahn delivered a plenary lecture focusing on his new research on how genes and the gut microbiome interact to produce type 2 diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome. The lecture also detailed his research surrounding the gut microbiome and how it has the ability to influence insulin resistance and the development of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
In addition to his role as Chief Academic Officer at Joslin, Dr. Kahn is head of the Integrative Physiology and Metabolism section at Joslin. He serves as the Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1981 when he joined Joslin as Research Director. After two decades as Joslin’s Research Director, Dr. Kahn transitioned into the role of Joslin’s President from 2000 - 2007. Under his leadership, Joslin’s research grew more than 20-fold, and clinical and educational activity tripled. He was named the Center’s first Chief Academic Officer in January 2012, where he oversees faculty recruitment, appointments, and promotions at the center, which trains about 150 doctors and doctoral fellows a year.
Dr. Kahn is a renowned investigator of insulin signal transduction and the mechanisms of altered signaling in disease. His laboratory discovered the insulin receptor kinase, its two primary substrates and the molecular components of the insulin-signaling network. He was the first to define alterations in the signaling network in type 2 diabetes, including the important role of insulin action in unexpected tissues such as brain, both in physiologic regulation and potentially in development of Alzheimer’s Disease. He has published over 800 papers and is among the most highly cited scientists in the field.
“Over my career I have focused on insulin signaling and insulin resistance, and through our work we have uncovered a number of new and important pathways for insulin signaling and insulin resistance that open the door to new therapeutic approaches to these disorders,” commented Dr. Kahn.