June 8, 2001

Country artist helps fund diabetes research chair

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Mark Collie and Dr. Daryl K. Granner unveil the check which will help fund the endowed diabetes research chair. (photo by Tommy Lawson)

Seven years of charity stock car racing events have culminated in the creation of the Mark Collie Chair in Diabetes Research. Country music singer and songwriter Mark Collie was on hand recently to honor the volunteers who helped raise the funds for the endowed chair.

Collie, who was diagnosed with diabetes at age 17, decided he wanted to help find a cure for diabetes. Through the Collie Foundation, he organized the first annual Mark Collie Celebrity Race for Diabetes Cure in 1994. The race brings together music and racing celebrities and has raised more than $2 million to help fund diabetes research.

“Having so many volunteers come together from the music and motor sports communities to give their time and talent is overwhelming,” Collie said. “Their efforts bring us closer to our goal and offer hope that a cure will be found for the millions of children and adults who cope with diabetes daily.”

Dr. Daryl K. Granner, director of the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center, praised Collie’s contributions.

“Mark has really brought diabetes awareness to the Nashville community. His efforts have not only helped us continue our research, but also have helped many people in the community get control of their own disease,” Granner said. “The Collie Foundation should be proud of the first endowed chair in the Diabetes Center. Most chairs come from a single wealthy donor. The money for this chair was raised by Mark and a group of people who decided to do something to make a difference, and it is unique for that reason.”

The Mark Collie Chair in Diabetes Research will go to a new VUMC faculty member who may use the discretionary funds provided by the chair for his or her research program.