Professor Karin Jandeleit-Dahm has been recognised with the Australian Diabetes Society premier honour, the Kellion Award, at the society’s 2023 scientific meeting.
The deputy head of the department of diabetes at Monash University central clinical school and diabetes and kidney disease research program lead, Professor Jandeleit-Dahm was honoured for her pioneering research, particularly in the area of diabetic kidney disease and oxidative stress.
Also a professor of medicine at the University of Hannover and holder of the prestigious Leibniz Chair for Diabetes Research at the University of Dusseldorf, her research program is considered one of the leading groups in diabetic complications, nephropathy and cardiovascular disease in the world.
In a plenary lecture to the meeting, Professor Jandeleit-Dahm said she was motivated by the urgent need to find new treatments for diabetic kidney disease.
“Despite the current treatment advances that we have developed over the last few years, a large proportion of patients continue to progress and develop complications,” she said.
“We know that drugs can slow this down, but they are not able to completely prevent this decline.”
Her talk focused on the challenge of targeting oxidative stress in diabetic complications, describing her team’s work over the past 15 years trying to “untangle the knot of pathways that lead to diabetic complications by identifying novel targets”.
She said this work had led her to propose the NOX isoform, NOX5, as an ideal target for drug development given its importance in the human context and deleterious role in all target organs injured in diabetes.
Targeting the residual risk of diabetic complications by reducing oxidative stress would lead to better and more effective treatments to reduce the unacceptably high burden of end-organ damage in diabetes, and allow individuals with diabetes to lead healthier and longer lives, she said.
Also recognised at the meeting was Associate Professor Priya Sumithran, who gave the ADS Ranji and Amara Wikramanayake Clinical Diabetes Research Award Lecture.
An endocrinologist and researcher, also at Monash University, and clinical lead for obesity medicine at Alfred Health, clinical work focuses on the care of people with obesity and type 2 diabetes. In her lecture, A/Prof Sumithran gave an outline of her research interests in the neuroendocrine regulation of appetite and eating behaviours and the clinical application of medications and surgery for metabolic diseases.
ADS award winners for 2023
ADS Kellion Award – Professor Karin Jandeleit-Dahm
ADS Skip Martin Early Career Fellowship – Associate Professor Sarah Glastras
ADS Ranji and Amara Wikramanayake Clinical Diabetes Research Award – Associate Professor Priya Sumithran
ADS Lindsey Baudinet Rising Star Award in Type 1 Diabetes Research – Dr Wilson Wong and Dr Mary Abraham
ADS Jeff Flack Diabetes Data Award – Associate Professor John Wentworth
ADS Lifetime Achievement Award – Associate Professor Michael d’Emden and Professor David James