Jerry Nadler, MD, an internationally known physician/scientist who is making potentially game-changing advances in diabetes research, has been named Virginia’s Outstanding Scientist for 2016.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe presented the award during a Feb. 25 ceremony in Richmond. The prestigious recognition is part of the annual Virginia's Outstanding STEM Awards, given by the Science Museum of Virginia. Dr. Nadler is one of two to receive this year's Outstanding Scientist award.
"Dr. Nadler is not only a first-class researcher, educator and clinician, he also recruits wonderful people and he's able to mentor great researchers and clinical scientists like himself,” says Richard Homan, MD, President and Provost and Dean of the School of Medicine. “He's a resource not only for EVMS but for the commonwealth of Virginia, the nation and for medicine."
Jerry Pepe, PhD, Professor and Chair of Physiological Sciences and former EVMS Dean, says Dr. Nadler has elevated the school’s research reputation and brought advanced diabetes care to the region and the state. “There's nobody who has done more for diabetes research and diabetes care over the past 10 years than Jerry Nadler,” he says.
Dr. Nadler is Vice Dean for Research, the Harry H. Mansbach Chair in Internal Medicine and Chair of Internal Medicine. He leads a team of researchers whose discoveries may lead to new treatments for the nearly 400 million people worldwide with diabetes and countless others who are pre-diabetic.
Peers around the globe have taken note of Dr. Nadler’s research that shows diabetes is an inflammatory disease. He has identified new targets for therapy, a process that has led to more than 10 patents. His research could lead to new treatments to prevent or possibly even reverse type 1 diabetes, a form of the disease that typically strikes in childhood.
His research has focused on the role of lipid and immune inflammatory pathways leading to pancreatic beta cell damage and better understanding of the cardiovascular complications of diabetes. He is also working to identify new biomarkers for development of type 1 diabetes and ways to prevent disease development.
Many of his research efforts involve partnerships. He excels at bringing people together for a common purpose, says Raghu Mirmira, MD, PhD, Director of the Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Disease at Indiana University and one of many long-time research colleagues.
“He has amassed an impressive group of collaborators — a Dream Team — that rally around his mission,” Dr. Mirmira says.
Dr. Pepe saw that same quality when he recruited Dr. Nadler. “He has an uncanny ability to work with people and to develop collaborations and multiple, diverse programs.”
Dr. Pepe recruited Dr. Nadler in 2008 from the University of Virginia. As Division Chief of Endocrinology at UVA, Dr. Nadler oversaw one of the nation’s top five endocrine divisions in the United States.
Dr. Nadler has research funding from a range of sources. They include the National Institutes of Health, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), including the new Human Islet Research Network at the NIDDK and the International JDRF nPOD Viral Consortium.
He has been a member of grant review committees for the American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, JDRF and NIH. He also has been an invited speaker at the American Diabetes Association, Australian Diabetes Association, World Diabetes Congress and European Association of Diabetes. He has over 200 peer-reviewed publications related to his research efforts.
Dr. Nadler received his medical degree from the University of Miami. That was followed by specialized training in Endocrinology and Diabetes at the University of Southern California research training and under an NIH Career Development Award. In 2013 he was appointed by the Governor’s office in Virginia to sit on the Planning and Oversight Committee of the Virginia Biosciences Health Research Corporation and State Task Force to increase Bioscience in Virginia. In 2015 he was awarded Mastership, American College of Physicians in recognition of his contributions to mentoring and research.