A central mission of the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center and the Vanderbilt DRTC is training the next generation of scientists and physicians who will improve the lives of patients with diabetes. Each year the Vanderbilt Diabetes Center presents the Vanderbilt Scholar in Diabetes Award to recognize a graduate student and a postdoctoral fellow based on his/her diabetes-related research at Vanderbilt.
In the graduate student category, the 2007 Vanderbilt Scholar in Diabetes is Elizabeth Tweedie Ables, who completed her Ph.D. in the laboratory of Maureen Gannon, Ph.D., in the Division of Diabetes and Endocrinology.
In the PhD post-doctoral fellow category, the 2007 Vanderbilt Scholar in Diabetes is Bart De Taeye. Bart worked with Douglas Vaughan, M.D., in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, and received the award for his work on diabetes and obesity. His research shows that plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), which is produced by inflammatory cells, leads to the development of visceral obesity, a risk factor for the metabolic syndrome that often precedes diabetes.
In the MD post-doctoral fellow category, the 2007 Vanderbilt Scholar in Diabetes is Mimi Huizinga. Mimi was a VA Quality Scholar and clinical fellow working with Tom Elasy, M.D., in the Department of Medicine. Her translational research on how patient attitudes and actions affect diabetes control is leading to the development of new strategies and interventions to help patients better control the condition.