INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute (IBRI) announced today the appointment of internationally recognized diabetes and metabolic disease research scientist Raghu Mirmira, M.D., Ph.D., as the first Indiana Research Fellow and interim Scientific Director for the Institute. Dr. Mirmira will also serve as Core Laboratories Director for IBRI. In these leadership roles, Dr. Mirmira will work closely with David Broecker, President and CEO of IBRI, to recruit additional research scientists to IBRI, establish research operations and commence project work.
"We are very excited to have Dr. Mirmira join IBRI's leadership team at this critical stage of establishing research operations for the Institute," said David Broecker. "Raghu is a unique and talented researcher with a track record of building nationally recognized research centers."
"Under Dr. Mirmira's leadership, Indiana University School of Medicine (IUSM) received NIH funding to support the IU Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases (CDMD)," added Dr. Jay Hess, Dean of the IU School of Medicine. "We look forward to working with IBRI to establish a highly collaborative environment across our institutions to conduct research that is high impact and ultimately will improve people's lives."
Dr. Mirmira, the Eli Lilly and Company Professor of Pediatric Diabetes, Director of the NIH-funded IU Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, Director of IU's Herman B Wells Center's Pediatric Diabetes Research Group, and the Director of the NIH-funded Medical Scientist Training Program for combined M.D./Ph.D. students, is a recognized expert in understanding the molecular mechanisms that are relevant to the formation of islet cells within the pancreas. In addition to his leadership role at IBRI, he will continue to pursue his current research focus, the restoration of function to insulin-producing beta cells, with his research team of ten scientists, physicians, Ph.D. fellows, and graduate students at the IU CDMD.
"I am also very excited to collaborate with David on the launch of research activities at IBRI," explained Raghu. "We are committed to building an organization that complements and enhances the capabilities of the IU Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, as well as Indiana's vibrant life sciences 'eco-system' of companies and other research institutions."
Dr. Mirmira received his bachelor's, M.D., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago. His interest in diabetes began in his Ph.D. years, during which time he studied how insulin binds to cells to effect its actions and for which he earned the Marc Perry Galler Award.
Following the completion of his advanced degrees, Dr. Mirmira served his medical residency and subspecialty training in diabetes and endocrinology at the University of California at San Francisco. During his fellowship, Dr. Mirmira received the Physician Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a Research Career Award from the National Institutes of Health for his work.
In 2000, Dr. Mirmira joined the faculty at the University of Virginia, where he studied how other cells in the body could be "reprogrammed" to produce insulin, and thereby serve as surrogate beta cells for individuals with diabetes.
Dr. Mirmira has received donor support and multiple grants for his research, including the Thomas R. Lee Career Development Award from the American Diabetes Association, NIH R01 grants, and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation awards. He has been nationally acknowledged as one of only 9 medical researchers in the country (and the only diabetes researcher) to receive the Discovery Health Channel Medical Honors Award.
Dr. Mirmira serves as a member of the Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases B Subcommittee of the Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Initial Review Group, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health.
About the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute
The Indiana Biosciences Research Institute is a non-profit, independent research organization focused on metabolic disease and poor nutrition. The mission of IBRI is to invest in entrepreneurial research talent to rapidly advance innovation that improves the health of individuals and the community in collaboration with others.
IBRI was inspired by Indiana's leading global life science companies and academic research institutions. Initial funding has been provided by the State of Indiana, the Lilly Endowment, Eli Lilly and Company, Dow AgroSciences, Roche Diagnostics, Indiana University Health and the Indiana University School of Medicine. For more information about IBRI, please see our website at www.indianabiosciences.org.
SOURCE Indiana Biosciences Research Institute