Explore Hamm Diabetes Center Research

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Explore Hamm Diabetes Center Research

Aaron_Snow_Photography_Harold Hamm.IMG_8561_16x9 (2) Dr. Jian-Xing Ma (left) is the center's director of research programs

Pioneering biomedical research in diabetes and its complications

Historical Background

Early on, the University of Oklahoma's Health Sciences Center (OUHSC) became internationally recognized for its work in the field of diabetes, creating a unique foundation for HHDC to be built upon.  As early as the late 1950s, OUHSC researcher Dr. Kelly West began his work that led to him becoming the first person to systematically study the mechanisms, natural history, and diagnostic criteria used to identify diabetes.  Today, he is internationally regarded as the “father of diabetes epidemiology.” The most prestigious award in diabetes epidemiology, given by the American Diabetes Association, is named in his honor.  In the 1960s, Dr. Paul Kimmelstiel came to OUHSC to carry on his groundbreaking work on diabetes and kidney disease, resulting in the identification of Kimmelstiel-Wilson syndrome, a kidney condition associated with diabetes.  In the 1970s, Dr. James Galvin joined OUHSC and pioneered innovative techniques for educating young children about diabetes and the importance of healthy lifestyles in preventing the disease.  In the 1990s, Dr. Kenneth Copeland came to OUHSC to greatly expand the pediatric diabetes program, which has led the way in researching prenatal and childhood causes of diabetes, as well as establishing treatment guidelines for type 2 diabetes in children.  In the 2000s, Dr. Timothy Lyons was recruited to significantly increase the focus of OUHSC’s endocrinology programs on adult diabetes research and clinical care.

Federal funding for mentoring diabetes researchers is supported by a $10 million COBRE award, now in its 13 th year. All of the COBRE-supported Junior Investigators have received independent grants, including eight NIH R01 grants, two R21 grants, and multiple grants from foundations such as the American Diabetes Association and the American Heart Association. Five Junior Investigators have been promoted to Associate Professor, and three have received tenure thus far. In addition, because of their success in research, two received endowed chair positions. Between this group of Junior Investigators, they have published 207 peer-reviewed papers, 135 of which received support from COBRE-funded Cores.

Research book coverResearch at the Root (2018)

This report elucidates the ways HHDC answers the call for progress against the pandemic of diabetes and its complications. 

CLICK HERE to view the virtual book (external website)

CLICK HERE to download the report (PDF)

Get an overview of our research areas of focus
Learn about the center's Membership program
Get the latest on our annual Research Symposium