Lab Canada

Endowed research chair to research cause, treatment of diabetes

Toronto, ON – Research into the cause and treatment of diabetes in Canada will be significantly enhanced by the establishment of a new research Chair at the Banting & Best Diabetes Centre at the University of Toronto and the University Health Network — the result of a gift from Novo Nordisk.

Professor Daniel Drucker, director of the Banting & Best Diabetes Centre, will serve as the inaugural Banting & Best Diabetes Centre-Novo Nordisk Chair in Incretin Biology. The clinician-scientist also holds a Canada Research Chair in Regulatory Peptides.

The new chair will be created through a $3-million gift from Novo Nordisk.

“Incretin biology holds the potential to play the kind of transformative impact that insulin had in improving the lives of people with diabetes. This new chair will position the Banting & Best Diabetes Centre as a leader in this area of research,” said Professor Catharine Whiteside, dean of the Faculty of Medicine.

“The challenges that an aging, changing population such as ours poses to the health care system require the ingenuity, imagination and skill of researchers like Dan Drucker. His accomplishments make him an ideal inaugural chair holder. As a leading pharmaceutical company engaged in peptide research, we’re very proud to be associated with Professor Drucker,” said Lars Rebien Sørensen, president and CEO of Novo Nordisk.

Dr Drucker has devoted his professional life to the study of a family of hormones produced in the pancreas, gastrointestinal tract and brain and the development of treatments for diabetes, obesity and intestinal disorders. His lab made headlines in 2008 with the discovery of a weekly insulin injection which could replace the twice-daily regimen endured by many people with diabetes. That same year, he received the Prix Galien Foundation Research Award, and last year he was recipient of the Endocrine Society’s Clinical Investigator Award.

Reported by Paul Cantin