Newswise — Richard Bergman, PhD, an internationally renowned diabetes and obesity researcher, received the Distinguished Leader in Insulin Resistance Award for his groundbreaking efforts to predict, prevent, treat and ultimately cure diabetes.

Bergman, director of the Sports Spectacular Diabetes and Obesity Wellness and Research Center at Cedars-Sinai and the Alfred Jay Firestein Chair in Diabetes Research, accepted the award Dec. 2 in Los Angeles at the Metabolic Institute of America's 15th Annual World Congress on Insulin Resistance, Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease.

Established in 2006, the award celebrates scientific leadership and unique contributions to understanding insulin resistance, obesity and diabetes. 

Yehuda Handelsman, MD, the Metabolic Institute of America's medical director and principal investigator, praised Bergman for his stellar career spanning more than four decades. 

"Dr. Bergman has contributed significantly to our understanding of the pathophysiology of insulin resistance," Handelsman said. (Insulin resistance can cause high blood glucose levels and lead to prediabetes or Type 2 diabetes.)

Handelsman also cited Bergman's global scientific impact. "He created the Minimal Model for assessing insulin sensitivity, which led to him developing the Disposition Index. The Disposition Index is a powerful predictor of diabetes risk and has impacted diabetes research throughout the world."

A professor in the Cedars-Sinai departments of Biomedical Sciences and Medicine, Bergman has published over 400 peer-reviewed papers, including landmark studies demonstrating the importance of: insulin's indirect control of liver glucose production; insulin transport from blood to the cells of patients with insulin resistance; and elevated nocturnal fatty acid levels in mediating the development of diet-induced insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia (excess levels of insulin circulating in the blood).

Shlomo Melmed, MB, ChB, executive vice president of Academic Affairs and dean of the medical faculty at Cedars-Sinai, saluted Bergman for the well-deserved award.

"This award is a reflection of the recognition that Dr. Bergman enjoys globally in the field of diabetes and obesity research. His discoveries have rightly earned the accolades of his peers, and this award is further testament to the remarkable contributions he's made," said Melmed.

Bergman has received many honors, but this one was especially gratifying.

"This award is particularly meaningful because it's given by some of the most highly regarded international leaders in the field, and it's presented at an annual conference attended by scientists from around the world," Bergman said. "After a long career, receiving this level of recognition is very fulfilling."

Following the award presentation, Bergman delivered a keynote address, "How They Talk! Inter-Organ Communication and Diabetes Pathogenesis."

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