Along with the Yale Pediatric Diabetes Program, Dr. King will be honored as the Nancy Jones Diabetes Champion at this year’s Boston Gala. To learn more about the JDRF Boston Gala, please visit our event page.
George L. King, M.D., is the Director of Research, Senior Vice President and Head of the Section on Vascular Cell Biology at Joslin, as well as a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He received his medical degree from Duke Medical School, completed residency training at the University of Washington Affiliated Hospitals, in Seattle, and then completed training as both a Research Associate and a Clinical Associate at the National Institutes of Health. He has been at Joslin and Harvard Medical School since 1981.
Dr. King has received numerous awards, including the Cogan Award from the Association for Research and Vision and Ophthalmology, the Stadie Memorial Award and Lectureship from the Philadelphia Affiliate of the American Diabetes Association, the Alcon Award for Vision Research and the Annual Award for Excellence in Research from the Japan Society of Diabetic Complications. Dr. King also was named Honorary Professor and Director of the Fu Dan Institute of Endocrinology and Diabetology at Fu Dan University, Shanghai, China. Recently, Dr. King was among a group of scientist who received the Champalimaud Award, the most prestigious award for vision research.
The laboratory of Dr. King studies the molecular mechanisms by which hyperglycemia and insulin resistance may lead to vascular dysfunction and long-term complications of diabetes and insulin resistance. Currently Dr. King’s laboratory is exploring the targets of PKC-beta and delta isoform activation in various vascular tissues, including retinal vascular cells, cardiomyocytes, arterial vascular cells, renal mesangial cells and podocytes.
The second area of study concerns insulin’s role in regulating cardiovascular function in physiological and pathophysiological states. Insulin resistance is an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases not only in people with diabetes, but also in those who have high blood pressure or lipid abnormalities or are obese.
Clinically, Dr. King is leading a comprehensive study to identify protective factors in a large group of Type 1 diabetic patients with diabetes duration over 50 years, called the Medalist Study. Over 40% of the Medalist diabetic patients do not have significant complications, even after 50-85 years of diabetes. Studies using molecular, genetic, biological and physiological methods are ongoing to identify these protective factors against the adverse effects of hyperglycemia of diabetes.