This year, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has awarded its two most prestigious scientific honours to researchers from the Institute of Metabolic Science (IMS). Each has been recognised for important insights resulting from their research in humans with rare, extreme disturbances of energy balance, body weight and metabolism.
Professor Sir Stephen O’Rahilly FRS FMedSci, co-Director of the IMS and Director of the IMS Metabolic Research Laboratories and MRC Metabolic Diseases Unit has been awarded the Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement which recognizes significant, long-term contributions to the understanding, treatment or prevention of diabetes. Professor Sadaf Farooqi FMedSci, Wellcome Principal Research Fellow, has been awarded the Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award, given in recognition of research in diabetes that demonstrates particular independence of thought and originality.
Professor O’Rahilly came to Cambridge in 1991 to establish his laboratory studying patients with extreme metabolic disturbance, including forms of diabetes and obesity. Sadaf Farooqi joined O’Rahilly’s lab in 1997 as a clinical fellow and PhD student and since the establishment of the IMS in 2008 has taken on leadership of research into severe obesity and thinness while O’Rahilly has led the development of the Institute as a centre for research, education and clinical care in the fields of diabetes, obesity and related endocrine and metabolic disorders. O’Rahilly now co-directs the IMS with his colleague Prof Nick Wareham (Director, MRC Epidemiology Unit) a leading international expert in Epidemiology and Public Health.
The awards, rarely made to two scientists from a single academic institution, will be recognised in June at the world’s largest, most prominent meeting on diabetes – the 79th Scientific Sessions of the ADA in San Francisco, California.