PHILADELPHIA—Klaus H. Kaestner, PhD, the Suor Butterworth Professor of Genetics and associate director of the Diabetes Research Center and the Center for Molecular Studies in Digestive and Liver Diseases in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, will receive the 2017 Roy O. Greep Award for Outstanding Research from the Washington-based Endocrine Society.
Klaus H. Kaestner, PhD
Kaestner is one of 14 researchers and clinicians being recognized for major achievements in the field of endocrinology, which focuses on hormones and their importance in the body.
His broad research interests include understanding the molecular mechanisms of organ formation and physiology of the liver, pancreas, and gastrointestinal tract. Disease areas targeted by Kaestner’s lab include diabetes and cancer.
In its announcement, the Endocrine Society said that “Kaestner discovered how liver development is initiated,” and made major contributions to understanding liver metabolism and differences in liver cancer between men and women. He is also cited for pioneering studies of the pancreas, whose functions include secreting insulin. Also recognized were “Kaestner's groundbreaking discoveries” related to the islet cells in the pancreas (which regulate blood sugar), achievements which have “opened the door to novel treatments for diabetes.”
Kaestner is a founding member of the National Institutes of Health-funded Human Islet Research Network, a group of investigators working to better understand beta cells in the pancreas, which make, house, and release the hormone insulin. A key goal is improved cell-replacement therapy for type 1 diabetes. He has served on many review panels for the National Institute for Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He has co-authored more than 290 publications and serves on the editorial boards of several professional journals.
Kaestner received his doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; a master’s degree in biochemistry from the University of Maryland College Park; and studied biology and chemistry at the University of Bremen in Germany. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the German Cancer Research Center.
The Endocrine Society will present the awards at ENDO 2017, the Society’s 99th Annual Meeting & Expo in Orlando, from April 1-4, 2017.