An award-winning endocrinologist leads research focused on preventing diabetes
By Debby Teich
Photography by Jayms Ramirez
Jerry L. Nadler, M.D. ’78
he Miller School’s Medical Alumni Association (MAA) recently recognized Jerry L. Nadler, M.D. ’78, with the Hall of Fame Award, the highest honor bestowed by the MAA, for his positive impact on medicine and society. An internationally recognized diabetes innovator, leader and research scientist, he has dedicated his career to finding ways to treat and prevent diabetes and heart disease.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Nadler says he always wanted to be a physician. His work during medical school with the late Daniel Mintz, M.D., founding scientific director of the Diabetes Research Institute at the Miller School, inspired him to pursue academic endocrinology.
“The faculty, medical training and unique environment at the Miller School gave me the foundation for a successful career and reinforced the importance of becoming a mentor and leader,” Dr. Nadler said.
Dr. Nadler is associate chief of staff for research and development at the VA Northern California Health System and served as dean of the New York Medical College School of Medicine, where he retains his professorship and continues his research.
His most significant work has been to understand complications of diabetes and obesity, concentrating on the inflammatory pathways leading to pancreatic beta cell damage, insulin resistance and atherosclerosis. His work has produced 16 patents, including one that is now in clinical development for possible future use in Type 1 diabetes prevention and treatment.
“Scientific discovery is the key to improving our lives,” Dr. Nadler said. “If we can determine what causes diabetes, we may be able to prevent it or find more successful treatments.”
Dr. Nadler was a member of a special advisory committee on Type 1 diabetes with the director of the National Institutes of Health. He also was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation and honored by the Mastership American College of Physicians for his leadership in internal medicine.
But even with all his accomplishments, Dr. Nadler says his true passion is mentoring fellows and junior faculty. “Inspiring medical students and faculty is what will help the next generation,” he said.
While Dr. Nadler said there are many people who have inspired him throughout his career, he credits Mary Ann, his late wife of 43 years, with having the greatest impact on his success.