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Harvard’s Kahn set for Discovery Lecture

Feb. 14, 2013, 10:32 AM

C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., renowned for his contributions to the field of insulin signaling and its role in type 2 diabetes and obesity, will deliver the next Flexner Discovery Lecture on Thursday, Feb. 21.

His lecture, which also is the Irwin Eskind Lecture in Biomedical Science, will begin at 4 p.m. in 208 Light Hall.

Kahn, the Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, will discuss “Insulin, Diabetes, and the Control of Brain Metabolism.”

C. Ronald Kahn, M.D.

His discoveries include identifying the insulin receptor tyrosine kinase, its two primary substrates and other molecular components of the insulin signaling network. He and his colleagues were the first to show how this network is altered in insulin-resistant states.

Recently they have made important contributions to understanding the role of insulin in controlling cholesterol metabolism in the brain, and the role of brown adipose tissue in metabolism regulation and protection against obesity.

A graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine, Kahn trained in internal medicine at Washington University, and later became head of the Section on Cellular and Molecular Physiology at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

In 1981, Kahn moved to Boston to become research director and later president of the Joslin Diabetes Center. A member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine, Kahn has received numerous awards, including the highest scientific honors granted by the American Diabetes Association and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

He chaired the Congressionally-established Diabetes Research Working Group, and is a former president of the American Society of Clinical Investigation.

Kahn’s lecture is sponsored by the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center and by the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics. For a complete schedule of the Discovery Lecture series and archived video of previous lectures, go to

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