November 8, 2002

Cherrington honored by Diabetes Association

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Cherrington honored by Diabetes Association

Alan D. Cherrington, Ph.D., Charles H. Best Professor of Diabetes Research and chair of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics, has been honored with the 2002 Josiah Kirby Lilly Sr. Distinguished Service Award by the American Diabetes Association. Cherrington accepted the award at a gala celebration of the ADA in Indianapolis on Nov. 2.

According to the ADA, the prestigious honor is made each year to “an individual, organization, or institution that has made a significant impact upon our understanding of diabetes, our ability to provide health care to persons with diabetes, and our mission to improve the quality of life for persons with diabetes and their families.”

Nominations for the award were solicited from board members and past presidents of the ADA, as well as representatives of diabetes institutions and organizations across the country. Cherrington joins an impressive list of previous awardees, including Dr. Oscar B. Crofford Jr., past president of the ADA who founded the Division of Diabetes at Vanderbilt and also established and directed the first NIH-funded Diabetes Research and Training Center here, and Dr. Frank Vinicor, current director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Diabetes Program.

“It’s a great honor to receive this award, in particular because it was previously won by Dr. Oscar Crofford,” said Cherrington. “It was Oscar who encouraged me to become involved with the American Diabetes Association nearly 25 years ago. I’m grateful to the organization for giving me the opportunity to serve in various capacities over the years and perhaps by doing so to help make a difference in the lives of those afflicted with diabetes. Likewise, I would like to thank my mentors, colleagues and lab members at Vanderbilt for their support, encouragement and patience over the years as I devoted time to this cause.”

The award is named for Josiah Kirby Lilly Sr., the son of the founder of Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly & Co. pharmaceuticals who became president of the company after his father’s death in 1898. From the outset of his career, J.K. Lilly championed the research concept in pharmacy, expanding efforts in basic research and dedicating new research and biological facilities. After insulin was discovered at the University of Toronto in 1920-21, the head of Lilly’s research division negotiated a contract between the University and the company to make insulin commercially available to patients around the world.

Over the course of his 28 years in research as a faculty member at Vanderbilt, Cherrington has contributed markedly to the understanding of diabetes and hormonal regulation of energy metabolism, authoring more than 200 peer-reviewed articles. In 1997 he was honored with the Frederick Banting Award for outstanding achievement in diabetes and metabolism research. Cherrington has been tapped to serve as president-elect of the ADA beginning in June 2003, to assume the office of president in June 2004.