The Program

DERC/Endocrinology Seminar Series

The DERC, in conjunction with the Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism, sponsors a formal research seminar each week that is open to all DERC members and trainees at the University. The scope of the program is very diverse, spanning basic and clinical science. The goal is to cover topics related to diabetes and endocrinology in a broad sense, so as to attract a wide spectrum of investigators. Each month this lecture is preceded by two 30 min. research-in-progress presentations by trainees and junior faculty working on DERC-related projects. Those presentations are selected to match the expertise of the invited guest speaker at the seminar. The usual attendance is ~60-70 people, reflecting the high quality of the lectures and our efforts to bring visiting scientists of national stature to the University.

The selection of the visiting lecturers is the responsibility of Dr. Broadus, the Director of the Enrichment Program. However, individual members of the DERC have substantial input into the selection process, and, in many cases, DERC members have had the opportunity to invite visiting scientists working in areas that could potentially impact on their research. Overall, this weekly seminar series has served as the centerpiece of the Enrichment Program. It is noteworthy that we have incorporated into this Seminar Series two annual visiting lectureships that are sponsored by the School of Medicine, namely the Philip Bondy and John Peters Professorships. These lectureships are awarded to distinguished scientists who generally spend two days at Yale where they also deliver a Medical Grand Rounds Lecture and meet with DERC members and trainees. In addition, the Endocrinology Section has established with private funds the John Baxter Lectureship and has been the recipient of six Pfizer Visiting Professorships.

Diabetes-Related Lectures in Basic Science Programs

To expand the exposure of and interest in diabetes-related research among basic scientists at the University, we have established Visiting Scientist Lectureships dealing with a diabetes-related topic in the broad sense that are incorporated within the structure of the Department's regular research seminar program. The program was initiated as a joint effort involving the DERC and the Section of Immunobiology to encourage and expand the involvement of basic immunologists with Yale's research effort in diabetes. Each year, we invite visiting scientists that are selected by the Section of Immunobiology. They spend one day at the University, and in addition to the lecture, meet with DERC members and trainees. Because of the success of this "outreach" program, we have periodically sponsored lectureships in the Department of Cell Biology and the Interdepartmental Program in Vascular Biology and Transplantation (VBT).

In the future, our plan will be to fund a diabetes-related symposium each year in the new Amistad Building that will the home of 3 translational research programs (2 new programs) that are directly relevant to diabetes, namely VBT, Human Translational Immunology and the Center for Stem Cell Research. The program will be chosen by a committee (Drs. Pober, Herold, Lin, and Sherwin) with the goal of stimulating interest in diabetes research and DERC activities among the scientists from these novel interdepartmental interdisciplinary programs. In addition, we will support visiting lecturers in Cell Biology as part of an effort of the Section of Endocrinology and the DERC to create a closer relationship with the Department (much as we did with Immunobiology).

The Annual DERC Diabetes Research Day

In the first decade of the DERC, the DERC sponsored an annual symposium off-site that was focused on diabetes-related topics. This symposium received excellent reviews from the Yale community and attracted a wide spectrum of DERC members and trainees as well as clinicians in the community. The attendance each year numbered 150-200. Each year a subcommittee of DERC members selected the symposium program, which is then coordinated by the Administrative Core. Although the quality of these Symposia was excellent and the visibility created for the DERC has been extremely valuable, it was decided by the Executive Committee to change both the format (more DERC focused) as well as the venue (Medical School-based). While having the advantage of creating a more informal, relaxed interchange, by having a Symposium outside of the Medical School, we believe it limits participation by research faculty and trainees outside of the Section of Endocrinology and therefore does not optimize scientific interchange or their exposure to the DERC. As a result, we decided to replace the Symposium with a diabetes research-focused event. This program, Diabetes Research Day, takes place in the TAC building and auditorium, and therefore is readily accessible to students, fellows and faculty. In the afternoon there is a featured speaker and formal presentations by 2 DERC pilot awardees. This is preceded by an informal lunch at which time is a concurrent poster session in which unpublished DERC-related research is presented by pilot grant awardees, other Yale junior faculty and trainees, DERC members and students are invited to attend.