BRONX, N.Y., April 4, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Meredith Hawkins, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Global Diabetes Initiative at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, will receive the American Federation for Medical Research's (AFMR) highest honor for medical research, the Outstanding Investigator Award. The prestigious prize is given annually to one exceptional investigator aged 45 or younger for excellence in biomedical research.
Dr. Hawkins was selected for her diabetes research, which examines the liver's role in glucose regulation and production, and how elevated fatty acids contribute to insulin resistance and inflammation in humans with glucose intolerance or obesity. While insulin's role in regulating blood glucose has been widely studied, Dr. Hawkins' group did pioneering studies showing that, in susceptible individuals, the liver fails to sense an increase in blood glucose – findings that may lead to novel diabetes drugs. They also study malnutrition diabetes, a poorly understood form of the disease that particularly affects the developing world.
"Dr. Hawkins is an innovative clinical scientist, committed mentor, prolific member of our Diabetes Research Center, and an international force through her leadership of Einstein's Global Diabetes Initiative," said Harry Shamoon, M.D., director of the Einstein-Montefiore Institute for Clinical and Translational Research and one of her former research mentors. "This is well-deserved recognition for Dr. Hawkins' stellar track record as a clinical and translational investigator."
A previous recipient of AFMR's Junior Physician-Investigator Award, Dr. Hawkins will present an overview of her work at AFMR's Henry Christian Awards dinner on April 17, 2012. She will then accept the award at the Translational Science 2012 meeting on April 19, 2012 in Washington, D.C.
"I am honored and thankful to receive this award," said Dr. Hawkins. "As the rate of diabetes and its serious health complications continues to rise worldwide, support and validation from organizations like the AFMR are necessary to help investigators like me continue to identify and develop effective and practical treatments." Dr. Hawkins is also an attending physician in endocrinology at Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein.
Established in 1940 as the American Federation for Clinical Research, the AFMR is an international organization that bridges basic and patient-oriented research in multiple medical disciplines. Their broad medical sciences constituency includes basic, translational and clinical researchers.
About Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University is one of the nation's premier centers for research, medical education and clinical investigation. During the 2011-2012 academic year, Einstein is home to 724 M.D. students, 248 Ph.D. students, 117 students in the combined M.D./Ph.D. program, and 368 postdoctoral research fellows. The College of Medicine has 2,522 full time faculty members located on the main campus and at its clinical affiliates. In 2011, Einstein received nearly $170 million in awards from the NIH. This includes the funding of major research centers at Einstein in diabetes, cancer, liver disease, and AIDS. Other areas where the College of Medicine is concentrating its efforts include developmental brain research, neuroscience, cardiac disease, and initiatives to reduce and eliminate ethnic and racial health disparities. Its partnership with Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital and academic medical center for Einstein, advances clinical and translational research to accelerate the pace at which new discoveries become the treatments and therapies that benefit patients. Through its extensive affiliation network involving Montefiore, Jacobi Medical Center – Einstein's founding hospital, and five other hospital systems in the Bronx, Manhattan, Long Island and Brooklyn, Einstein runs one of the largest post-graduate medical training programs in the United States, offering approximately 155 residency programs to more than 2,200 physicians in training. For more information, please visit www.einstein.yu.edu and follow us on Twitter @EinsteinMed.
SOURCE Albert Einstein College of Medicine