UFDI medical director recipient of prestigious JDRF George Eisenbarth Award

Desmond Schatz, M.D., Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Pediatrics, and Pediatric Medical Director of the University of Florida Diabetes Institute, has been selected as the recipient of the prestigious 2021 JDRF George Eisenbarth Award for Type 1 Diabetes Prevention. The award will be presented to Dr. Schatz at the JDRF Mission Summit in Palm Beach, Florida on December 6th.

The Eisenbarth Award is presented annually to a researcher who has made outstanding contributions to and research advances in the prevention of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Established in 2013, the award is named for the esteemed diabetes researcher George S. Eisenbarth, M.D., Ph.D., whose research provided the foundation for predicting T1D and identifying novel approaches toward its prevention and cure. As the leading global organization funding T1D research, JDRF is presenting the Eisenbarth Award to Dr. Schatz in recognition of his long-standing commitment to establishing and advancing large-scale collaborative research networks for predicting and preventing T1D.

Dr. Desmond Schatz
Dr. Desmond Schatz, Interim Chair, UF College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics; Interim Physician-in-chief, UF Health Shands Children’s Hospital; Medical Director of the Diabetes Center and Associate Director of the GCRC

Among the many programs that Dr. Schatz has help developed for these causes, perhaps the most notable are the NIH funded Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Program and the international TEDDY (The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in Youth) study. Since the launch of TrialNet, Dr. Schatz has been the Principal Investigator of the UF TrialNet Clinical Center, and has played a critical role in the development of nearly every one of TrialNet’s near 30 clinical trials. Each of these studies has improved our understanding of T1D, and has greatly improved our odds of ultimately preventing and reversing the disease.

Similarly, Dr. Schatz’s role in the development of the TEDDY study culminated in an international collaboration in which over 400,000 infants were screened for genetic risk for T1D, resulting in over 8,000 high-risk children and families participating in a 15-year longitudinal study which has and will continue to provide the scientific community with a markedly improved understanding of the interactions between environment and genetics in T1D development.

In addition to this year’s JDRF George Eisenbarth Award, Dr. Schatz has also received the Mary Tyler Moore and S. Robert Levine Excellence in Clinical Research Award from JDRF, the 2009 Cure Award from the American Diabetes Association (ADA), and the prestigious Banting Medal for Service from the ADA, among many other honors. Dr. Schatz also served as President of the ADA, helping it to achieve its three-fold mission of advocacy, education, and research.

The UF Diabetes Institute is honored to have Dr. Desmond Schatz as a member of its leadership team, where he serves as Director of its Pediatric Diabetes efforts. “I cannot imagine a more deserving candidate for this award” said Dr. Mark Atkinson, Director of the UF Diabetes Institute.  This is a fitting recognition of his decades of dedication, innovation, and outstanding leadership to these important causes.”

Please join us in extending our most enthusiastic “Congratulations!” as we celebrate Dr. Schatz’s prestigious award!