World-renowned diabetes expert Professor Derek LeRoith has been tapped to lead a new clinical research center at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa. The new Diabetes and Metabolism Clinical Research Center is part of Rambam’s new Legacy Heritage Clinical Research Institute.
LeRoith, formerly of the National Institutes of Health in Washington D.C. and New York City’s Mt. Sinai Medical Center, directed diabetes centers in both of his previous positions.
The new director said in a statement to the media that he intends to begin immediately with research investigating why patients with obesity and Type II diabetes show an increased susceptibility to all types of cancers, as well as an unusually high mortality rate in connection with the disease – an area he has studied for more than five years.
“My long-range plans are to recruit three or four other investigators in the diabetes arena,” he said, “and to develop a center that will be internationally recognized in diabetes research.”
Legacy Institute Director Professor Michael Aviram added that LeRoith’s work will be focused specifically on its direct application to patient health.
“At Rambam [LeRoith] will coordinate diabetes research at the highest level,” confirmed Aviram, “and like other Legacy researchers will combine clinical work with basic research. Each researcher here will work on projects that are relevant to patients and their treatment,” he emphasized.
“Leading the Legacy center represents a new challenge for me, professionally and personally,” added LeRoith. “It will give me the chance to develop an internationally-recognized center that combines the exceptional expertise of the Technion, Rappaport and Rambam.
“On an individual level, it allows me to make Aliyah, after 31 years of wanting to. For me, this decision involved a little Zionism, a little meshugas [Yiddish for craziness - ed.] and a lot of medicine.”