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 2010 Vanderbilt Scholar in Diabetes is Lynley Pound. Working with Richard O'Brien, Ph.D., Pound is using a mouse model to characterize how variations in genes encoding the enzyme IGRP/G6PC2 and the zinc transporter ZnT-8 increase susceptibility to elevated fasting blood glucose levels and type 2 diabetes risk, respectively.
In the Ph.D. post-doctoral fellow category, the 2010 Vanderbilt Scholar in Diabetes is Christopher Ramnanan. Working in the lab of Alan Cherrington, Ph.D. Ramnanan is evaluating the importance of brain insulin signaling and hepatic (liver) AMPK signaling to the liver's ability to tightly control blood glucose levels, work that could clarify the therapeutic potential of these pathways in diabetic care and treatment.
In the M.D. post-doctoral fellow category, the 2010 Vanderbilt Scholar in Diabetes is Michelle Griffith. Working with mentors Shubhada Jagasia, M.B.B.S., and Madan Jagasia, M.D., Michelle examined risk factors for post-transplant diabetes in patients undergoing stem cell transplantation for treatment of cancer. She also worked to develop a model that will help identify patients at highest risk for poor blood sugar control in the hospital.