Haim Engelman: Berrie Center Summer Intern
Screening for T1D

Meet Haim Engelman, 20, one of the Berrie Center’s star summer interns.

A smart and enthusiastic team player, Haim is currently working with a small group of clinical researchers at the Center on the NIH TrialNet Pathway to Prevention Research Study. The study is important, explains Haim, because it aims to answer questions about preventing and delaying type 1 diabetes or possibly detecting it early—by screening the relatives of people already diagnosed with type 1. 

His work is particularly meaningful because about five years ago, Haim was diagnosed with T1D and his five siblings have not been screened—not yet at least. “I am determined to recruit them for this study,” said Haim, adding that there are now five proteins that can be detected in a blood sample that indicate the likelihood of developing type 1 diabetes. “My goal is to get them all together—that’s the hard part—and get this done!”

Raised in a close-knit, Orthodox Jewish family in Spring Valley, NY. Haim spent the last two years at the Yeshiva Tiferet in Jerusalem where he studied, “the Bible, the Talmud, religious law and different philosophies,” he said. This fall, Haim will start Binghamton University in New York, but he says, “I don’t have a sense of what I would like to study, because the truth is, there isn’t much I don’t want to study.”

It is that type of temperament that served Haim well when he was first diagnosed. “It became second nature to me pretty quickly,” he said. “I have a condition that I treat with candy, when I go low. It’s not really that bad.” 

This is Haim’s second internship at the Berrie Center—two summers ago, he worked with a group of researchers on a gestational diabetes study. For someone with his interests, he says, internships don’t get much better. “I am very fortunate to be here.”

If you are interested in the TrialNet Pathways to Prevention screening, please contact the Berrie Center at 212-851-5466 or via email: eal2179@columbia.edu.

Click here to support the Berrie Center's T1D screening program.