Morris J. Birnbaum, MD, PhD, Receives Mosenthal
Award from American Diabetes Association
PA) – Morris J. Birnbaum, MD, PhD, Professor of
Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology in the Division of Endocrinology,
Diabetes and Metabolism at the University of Pennsylvania School
of Medicine, has been recognized by the Northeastern Division
of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) for his many significant contributions
to diabetes research. The Mosenthal Award, established in 1966 and named
after one of the ADA’s founding members, was presented during the
52nd Annual Gerald Friedman Scientific Symposium in New York City.
“I am extremely honored to have been given this award,” remarks
Birnbaum. “The list of prior winners is impressive – they
are all well-known and remembered for making longstanding contributions
to diabetes research. It is inspiring to know that the Association believes
that my work has been of the same high caliber.”
Birnbaum earned his BA, MD, and PhD from Brown University. After an internship
and residency in Internal Medicine at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, MO,
he completed post-doctoral training as a Helen Hay Whitney Fellow at the
University of California, San Francisco and at Sloan-Kettering Cancer
Institute in New York. He then moved to Harvard Medical School, initially
in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology as an Assistant
and Associate Professor, and then in the Department of Cell Biology.
In 1994, Birnbaum came to the University of Pennsylvania and became the
Rhoda and Willard Ware Professor of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases and
an Investigator in the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His research concerns
a number of aspects of the regulation of metabolism and growth, and issues
currently under study include the mechanism by which insulin regulates
a number of physiological metabolic functions. Recently, he has initiated
experiments aimed at clarifying how contraction and exercise also stimulate
glucose uptake into muscle.
“I have always been interested in the interplay between what happens
at the molecular and cellular level and how it affects the whole organism,”
explains Birnbaum. “Insulin signaling held the most mystery and
greatest challenge for me – I became intrigued by the idea the signaling
molecule could change the actual location of important cellular components.
Of course, the importance of solving this problem for the health of people
in the twenty-first century is inescapable.”
The American Diabetes Association is the nation's leading nonprofit volunteer
health organization providing diabetes research, information and advocacy.
Founded in 1940, the American Diabetes Association conducts programs in
all 50 states and the District of Columbia, reaching hundreds of communities.
The mission of the Association is to prevent and cure diabetes and to
improve the lives of all people affected by this disease. To fulfill this
mission, the American Diabetes Association funds research, publishes scientific
findings, provides information and other services to people with diabetes,
their families, health professionals and the public. The Association is
also actively involved in advocating for scientific research and for the
rights of people with diabetes.
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