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Hanuman Medical Foundation Talks to Richard Bergman

March 9, 2012

Hanuman Medical Foundation recently interviewed Dr. Richard N. Bergman, PhD, about the new Cedars-Sinai Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute he directs, and about his distinguished career as a diabetes researcher—in particular his work with the Islet Sheet Project. Read the Q&A (PDF download).

Dr. Bergman is probably best known for developing the “minimal model,” which describes how insulin reacts in the body and has become the standard for determining causes of diabetes. By applying engineering principles to develop a mathematical model of the relationships between insulin secretion, insulin action, and other metabolic factors, he made it possible to create a comprehensive and integrated picture of metabolic function in a patient. Clinical testing using this model is now the most powerful predictor of future development of Type 2 diabetes. In 2006, he was awarded the Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement from the American Diabetes Association, the most prestigious award in diabetes research.

In the Q&A, Dr. Bergman talks about moving from his long-term position as chair of the physiology department at the University of Southern California to Cedars-Sinai, where he had the opportunity to found a new institute. He explains why it’s important to investigate diabetes and obesity hand in hand, and how this work relates to type 1 diabetes as well as type 2. And he describes how the Islet Sheet can potentially help people with both forms of diabetes.