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2014 Rolf Luft Award Announced

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The Karolinska Institutet announced Roger Unger, MD, as the recipient of its 2014 Rolf Luft Award. The international award is given annually to recognize one scientist for outstanding contributions to endocrinology and diabetes research. The award was bestowed on Dr. Unger in recognition of his identification of glucagon as a pancreatic hormone that raises blood sugar levels, having the opposite effect of insulin.

Dr. Unger holds the Touchstone/West Distinguished Chair in Diabetes Research and is Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. He is the second member of the UT Southwestern faculty to receive the Luft Award within the past three years. His colleague, David Mangelsdorf, PhD, Chair of Pharmacology, was honored with the award in 2012 for his work on nuclear receptor pathways.

Dr. Unger has been a member of the UT Southwestern faculty since 1956, and he served as the inaugural Director of the Touchstone Center for Diabetes Research from 1986 to 2007. He has received numerous prestigious honors and awards for his work, including: the Banting Medal (1975), awarded by the American Diabetes Association (ADA); the Claude Bernard Memorial Medal (1980), awarded by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes; and the Fred Conrad Koch Award (1983), awarded by The Endocrine Society. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Unger earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University and MD at Columbia University. He holds honorary degrees from the Universities of Liege and Geneva.

Dr. Unger received the award, which consists of a medal and a cash prize, and delivered the prize lecture, “A New Biology for Diabetes,” on May 13.

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