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Pioneering diabetes researcher Park celebrates 100th birthday

Mar. 10, 2016, 10:21 AM

Jane Park, Ph.D., and Charles R. “Rollo” Park, M.D., celebrate Rollo’s 100th birthday at the Heritage of Brentwood. (photo by Samantha Hearn/Brentwood Home Page)

Pioneering Vanderbilt diabetes researcher Charles R. “Rollo” Park, M.D., celebrated his 100th birthday on March 2 at the Heritage of Brentwood with his wife of more than 70 years, Jane Park, Ph.D., professor emerita of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics.

Park, who chaired the Department of Physiology from 1952 to 1984, made several key discoveries about glucose update by muscle and glucose production by the liver. He is credited with establishment of the nation’s first Diabetes and Endocrinology Research Center at Vanderbilt in 1973, and received numerous honors, including election to the National Academy of Sciences, the Banting Medal for Research in Diabetes from the American Diabetes Association and the University’s Earl Sutherland Prize for Achievement in Research.

Park also is a member of an exclusive club of Vanderbilt centenarians that includes Harvie Branscomb, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University’s fourth chancellor, who died in 1963 at age 103, and prominent ecologist Elsie Quarterman, Ph.D., who died in 2014, also at age 103.

When asked by the Brentwood Home Page for his secret to longevity, Park said, “Just keep living. Don’t give up.”

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