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Dr. Ralph DeFronzo Named 2017 Hamm Prize Laureate

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Author: GSBS | Category: In The News | December 04, 2017

Congratulations Dr. Ralph DeFronzo on being named the 2017 laureate of the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center International Prize for Diabetes Research!

The $250,000 Harold Hamm International Prize for Biomedical Research in Diabetes, the largest of its kind in the world, is awarded by Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma. According to the press release, the Hamm Prize recognizes and encourages lasting advances in the field of diabetes research. It is awarded to an individual who has either demonstrated lifelong contributions to the field or realized a singular advance, especially in leading toward a cure.

Dr. Ralph DeFronzo directed the initial studies responsible for the approval of metformin, the number one prescribed medication in the U.S., as well as the development of the most recent class of antidiabetic medications. Under Dr. DeFronzo’s direction, the Texas Diabetes Institute has been nationally recognized as a top 50 Diabetes Center by U.S. News & World Report.

DeFronzo is the author of 750 publications dating back to 1967. He currently serves as professor of medicine and chief of diabetes in the Long School of Medicine at University of Texas Health San Antonio, where he has been on faculty since 1988.

“I am grateful to Harold Hamm for establishing this important prize and for the leadership and tenacity he has demonstrated by taking action to address the diabetes health crisis,” said OU President David L. Boren. “The CDC has said that at current rates, one in three people in America will develop Type 2 diabetes. This prize is another example of the forward momentum of Harold Hamm Diabetes Center’s efforts to slow growing statistics like these. Dr. DeFronzo’s contributions to science directly benefit millions of Americans receiving treatment for diabetes.”

DeFronzo was selected by an international jury of leading diabetes scientists during deliberations held in February at Harold Hamm Diabetes Center in Oklahoma City. He was nominated by jurors Dr. Vivian Fonseca of Tulane University and Dr. Aaron Vinik of the Strelitz Diabetes Center at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

“To my mind very few people in the world have done as much for so many different aspects of diabetes, research, clinical care and teaching,” Fonseca said.

“DeFronzo has to be one of the most singular outstanding stars in the diabetes world,” Vinik said. “He is absolutely unique in identifying the contributions of almost every organ in the body to the pathophysiology of Type 2 diabetes.”

Harold Hamm Diabetes Center will host a reception honoring DeFronzo, the Prize jurors and previous Prize laureates on June 10, 2017, at the American Diabetes Association 77th Scientific Sessions in San Diego. The Hamm Prize will officially be conferred upon DeFronzo Oct. 16, 2017, in Oklahoma City by Hamm and Boren at the 2017 Connect+Cure Gala benefitting Harold Hamm Diabetes Center.

Previous conferrals of the Hamm Prize were in 2013 and 2015, and the next will occur in 2019. To learn more about the Hamm Prize, please visit

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