15 September 2016
Diabetes researcher and Chief Scientific Officer at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Professor Mark Cooper, has become the first Australian to receive the prestigious Claude Bernard award from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
Professor Cooper gave the Claude Bernard Lecture on diabetes complications in Munich, Germany, overnight and now joins an illustrious list of diabetes researchers to be presented with this award.
The award recognises an individual’s innovative leadership and outstanding contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the field of diabetes mellitus and related metabolic diseases.
In addition to leading a research group at Baker IDI in the field of diabetic complications, Professor Cooper heads the Joint National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF) Diabetes Complications Centre of Research Excellence (DC-CRE), encompassing the Danielle Alberti Memorial Centre for Diabetes Complications that he established in 2003.
Professor Cooper has made numerous important discoveries in the field of diabetes. In particular, his early work played a pivotal role in defining the protective effects of drugs which interrupt the renin-angiotensin system, a hormone system involved in the regulation of blood pressure.
His recent major field of research endeavour has been exploring metabolic memory and its epigenetic origins. His key discoveries may partly explain the sustained ‘legacy’ of beneficial effects arising from improved glucose control in people with diabetes, as well as contribute to the irreversible legacy of vascular damage observed in some patients with longstanding type 2 diabetes. This aspect of research in diabetic complications is now an active area of research worldwide.
Institute Director, Professor Tom Marwick paid tribute to Professor Cooper, saying the prestigious award was recognition of his significant contributions to diabetes research during the past few decades.
“Professor Cooper has been recognised for his research excellence in diabetes by the international scientific community, with his work contributing to improved health outcomes for people faced with the challenge of living with diabetes and its complications.”
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