November 29, 2012

Awards honor diabetes research contributions

The recent “Diabetes Day” symposium recognized two Vanderbilt trainees for their potential as future leaders in diabetes research and one longtime staff member for his service to the diabetes research community.

Honored at the recent Diabetes Day symposium were, from left, Jeffrey Bonner, Richard Printz, Ph.D., and Lindsay Mayberry, Ph.D. (photo by Anne Rayner)

The recent “Diabetes Day” symposium highlighted diabetes research at Vanderbilt and recognized three individuals — two trainees for their potential as future leaders in diabetes research and one longtime member of the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center for his service to the diabetes research community.

Jeffrey Bonner and Lindsay Mayberry, Ph.D., were named Irwin Eskind Diabetes Scholars, and Richard Printz, Ph.D., was awarded the 2012 Robert K. Hall Service Award.

• Jeffrey Bonner, a graduate student in the laboratory of David Wasserman, Ph.D., has focused on understanding the role of blood vessels in muscle insulin resistance. Using a mouse model, he has demonstrated that reduced muscle capillaries can lead to reduced glucose uptake and muscle insulin resistance.

Bonner “has aggressively tackled new methodologies, including MRI and electron microscopy, to study the interactions between vascular and interstitial exchange and the structural deviations that impair exchange in the insulin resistant state,” Wasserman said.

• Lindsay Mayberry, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow working with Chandra Osborn, Ph.D., MPH, Tom Elasy, M.D., MPH, and Russell Rothman, M.D., MPP, is the project coordinator for a study examining how technology can be used to assist with medication adherence in patients with type 2 diabetes. She is also investigating the role of family support on patient outcomes during the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Osborn praised Mayberry’s “intellectual curiosity, productivity and ability to collaborate across disciplines.”

• Richard Printz, Ph.D., directs the Molecular and Cellular Biology Core in the Diabetes Center, which provides infrastructure for a broad range of research efforts, and he has recently overseen the renovation and reorganization of the core.

Printz also has assisted research in multiple laboratories and was critical to the successful renewal of the Vanderbilt Diabetes Research and Training Center grant, said Alvin Powers, M.D., director of the Diabetes Center.

The Robert Hall Service Award is presented in memory of Robert Hall, a longtime member of the Diabetes Center who “enabled and enhanced the research of many students, fellows and research assistants and made the research of many laboratories more productive and effective,” Powers said. “Research requires a team working collaboratively, or great ideas would never get tested.”