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Transforming Life for Diabetes Patients

Dr. Zinman has had an incredibly prolific collaboration with Dr. Drucker on a series of research investigations and innovations that have led to enhanced treatments, improved health and better quality of life for millions of people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Transforming Life for Diabetes Patients

Dr. Bernard Zinman and Dr. Daniel Drucker

Imagine if it were possible to put type 2 diabetes into remission, fully control the symptoms and prevent its many deadly complications. More than two million Canadians and 250 million people worldwide suffer from a condition that is a leading cause of heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and limb amputation.

For patients at Mount Sinai Hospital, that vision could soon be a reality. Dr. Bernard Zinman, a  world-renowned clinician-researcher at Mount Sinai, is enrolling patients in a research study to test this radical idea. “By giving patients with type 2 diabetes intensive insulin therapy for a short period, less the a month, followed by a maintenance therapy we can rest the pancreas, repair beta cells and possibly put them into remission from the disease for an extended period of time,” says Dr. Zinman, Director of the Leadership Sinai Centre for Diabetes and a Senior Scientist at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute.

For more than 25 years, Dr. Zinman has had a leadership role in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT), the world’s largest and most comprehensive diabetes complications study ever conducted in type 1 diabetes. The study has had a global impact on the treatment of type 1 diabetes, leading to more intensive treatment, tighter blood sugar control and fewer complications for patients.

Dr. Zinman’s many awards include the Novartis Prize in Diabetes for Long-Standing Achievement and the Canadian Diabetes Association Lifetime Achievement Award. This year, Dr. Zinman was inducted into the Order of Canada, one of Canada’s most prestigious awards.

The Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute is fortunate to have two internationally recognized leading diabetes scientists with complimentary expertise providing the opportunity for innovative collaborations. Dr. Daniel Drucker is also a Senior Scientist at the Lunenfeld. His work includes the development of new incretin-based therapies for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, and the clinical testing of a new once-weekly treatment for type 2 diabetes to replace the more common twice-daily injection. More recently, his research on a subset of gut hormones (known as incretins) played a key part in the development of the two most recently approved types of therapies for treating type 2 diabetes.

This year, Dr. Drucker will receive the Claude Bernard Lecture/Award of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes and in 2011, he received the Canadian Institutes of Health Research-Canadian Medical Association Journal Award for top achievements in health research.

As clinician-researchers whose work has transformed diabetes treatment over several decades, Dr. Zinman and Dr. Drucker demonstrate daily how the best research leads to the best medicine.