The Year in Review

Happy New Year to friends and families of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center, and thank you to all whose support helped make last year one of significant clinical innovation, multiple awards and promising breakthroughs in our labs. As we look forward to the future, did you know that in 2017 the Berrie Center

  • Collaborated with the NYS Attorney General’s Office to change laws regarding diabetes management in schools giving more decision-making authority during the school day to parents of children with diabetes. 
  • Analyzed more than 15,000 meter, pump and continuous glucose monitor downloads in our clinic to provide patients with expert insight to improve day-to-day management (in addition to fielding thousands of urgent calls/faxes/emails to meet patient needs day and night). 
  • Celebrated the achievements of Domenico Accili, MD, the Russell Berrie Foundation Professor of Diabetes, who received the prestigious Banting Medal given for his long-term contributions to the understanding, treatment and prevention of diabetes.
  • Received a large grant from the Russell Berrie Foundation to initiate a program in the neuroscience of ingestive behaviors. This program promotes close collaboration between Columbia scientists with expertise in metabolism and those working on basic neuroscience. 
  • Offered more than 1,150 hours of free programs for Berrie Center patients and families from after-school groups for preteens and teens with type 1 diabetes (T1D) to workshops for spouses and partners of people with T1D. 
  • Founded a biotechnology company (Forkhead Biotherapeutics, Inc.) that aims to bring to the clinic a new diabetes treatment based on the Berrie Center's discoveries.
  • Identified a molecular mechanism for the severe obesity characterizing Prader-Willi Syndrome. 
  • Published 93 peer-reviewed articles on topics including obesity, beta cell replacement, and genes causing diabetes. 
  • Screened 500 relatives of patients for antibodies indicating risk for T1D. 
  • Made advances towards the ultimate goal of implanting stem cell-derived beta cells as a replacement for patients with diabetes. 
  • Co-authored 11 publications that identified either new genetic diseases or new genes that cause existing diseases.
  • Hired a program coordinator to facilitate a therapeutic arts program that’s not just for kids.