As part of the honor, Dr. Kahn presented the distinguished Claude Bernard Lecture, considered to be the highlight of the weeklong EASD annual meeting, which was held Sept. 5-9. Dr. Kahn discussed how communication between the brain and tissues of the body relates to the pathogenesis of diabetes. Dr. Ele Ferrannini, the president of the EASD, presented Dr. Kahn with the Claude Bernard Medal immediately following his lecture on the final day of the meeting, Sept. 9.
Over the past three decades, the research of Dr. Kahn has literally defined the field of insulin signal transduction and mechanisms of altered signaling in disease. In 1981, Dr. Kahn's laboratory discovered that the insulin receptor is an insulin-stimulated enzyme with protein tyrosine kinase activity. His laboratory also demonstrated how insulin signaling is altered in insulin-resistant states, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity; the impact of genetics and environment on these signaling functions; and how knowledge gleaned from these studies can be translated into new treatment methods for people with diabetes.
In recent studies, Dr. Kahn and his colleagues have conducted a series of studies using genetically engineered mice with knocked out insulin receptors in classical target tissues, such as liver, muscle and fat. These experiments indicated the important link between obesity, diabetes and longevity. Using these techniques, Dr. Kahn and collea