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Mount Sinai Hospital scientist wins world`s largest prize for diabetes research

December 01, 2014

Dr. Daniel Drucker, Senior Investigator at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, is the recipient of the world’s most valuable award for diabetes research, the 2014 Manpei Suzuki International Prize. The award, which was announced today by the Manpei Suzuki Diabetes Foundation in Tokyo, recognizes Dr. Drucker’s research in the area of gut hormones and how they control glucose and body weight, which have led to the development of two new classes of therapies for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
“The 2014 Manpei Suzuki International Prize brings tremendous international recognition to the work that we have done for over 25 years, with my trainees and fellow scientists, both at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute and at the University of Toronto,” says Dr. Drucker, who is also Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of Toronto.“We are honoured that our science has helped in the development of new medications for patients with diabetes, and delighted to have our research achievements recognized by our esteemed colleagues in Japan.”
As a result of research discoveries in Dr. Drucker’s lab, two new drugs have been developed for diabetes patients to help control their blood glucose and insulin secretion -- without weight gain or hypoglycemia, which are common side effects of other treatments for diabetes. Another drug based on Dr. Drucker's research has recently been approved by the FDA for the treatment of short bowel syndrome and is also being tested as a therapy for other intestinal disorders. The research team continues to uncover new concepts of hormone action in multiple organs. Dr. Drucker believes that there remains huge potential for new scientific discoveries in this area, which may one day transform into therapies for the treatment of several more human diseases.
“Dan is a passionate clinician-scientist whose drive is to relieve the burden of patients with diabetes,” says Dr. Jim Woodgett, Director of the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. “It is wonderful that he is being recognized for his many remarkable achievements – he’s the perfect illustration of the importance of making new discoveries and translating these into improving the lives of millions of people.”
The first Canadian diabetes researcher to be honoured with this award, Dr. Drucker is thrilled to be the recipient of the 2014 Manpei Suzuki International Prize, which he feels is a superb opportunity to profile the excellence of Canadian diabetes research. He was recently awarded the 2014 Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement Award from the American Diabetes Association, which is described by some as the Nobel Prize for diabetes research. In 2011, Dr. Drucker was awarded the Claude Bernard Medal from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes. He is only the second individual worldwide to be recognized with all three major international diabetes awards.
Dr. Drucker will be honoured with a Certificate of Honor, US$150,000 and a Japanese objet d’art at the award ceremony held by the Manpei Suzuki Diabetes Foundation in Tokyo on February 10, 2015.
Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital (Toronto) have contributed to three of the four most prescribed diabetes medications in the world. The hospital’s Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute is ranked Number 1 in citations for diabetes research among institutes worldwide. As well, the hospital’s internationally recognized physicians receive more than 20,000 diabetes patient visits each year at the Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes, Canada’s referral centre for the most difficult and complex diabetes cases.

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