Dr. Gerald Shulman Is Inaugural Cowgill Professor

Dr. Gerald I. Shulman, who has been named the inaugural George R. Cowgill Professor of Physiological Chemistry, is an internationally known diabetes researcher.

He focuses his studies on understanding the cellular mechanisms of insulin resistance, the role of the liver and muscle in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes, and the benefits of exercise in the management of the disease. His laboratory pioneered the use of magnetic resonance spectroscopy and other non-invasive technologies used to study the complex molecular pathway that leads to insulin resistance in humans. His findings have led to the discovery of a novel mechanism involving alterations in intracellular fat metabolism as the major cause of insulin resistance in liver and muscle.

Shulman is a professor of medicine and of cellular and molecular physiology. He also serves as the associate director of the Yale Diabetes Endocrinology Research Center and of the Yale Medical Scientist (M.D./Ph.D.) Program. He has been a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator since 1997.

Shulman joined the faculty at the Yale School of Medicine after teaching at Harvard Medical School. He earned his B.S. from the University of Michigan and both his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. He completed his medical internship and residency at the Duke University Medical Center. He was a postdoctoral fellow in molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale 1983-1984 and a visiting fellow in that department 1984-1986.

The recipient of the 2008 Stanley J. Korsmeyer Award for his scientific contributions, Shulman has also been honored with the Bristol-Meyers Squibb Freedom to Discover Award, the Novartis Award in Diabetes, the American Diabetes Association’s Outstanding Scientific Award Achievement Award and Distinguished Clinical Investigator Award, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation’s Diabetes Care Research Award, the Naomi Berrie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Diabetes Research from Columbia University, and an Outstanding Investigator Award from the American Federation for Clinical Research.

Shulman serves on many scientific review committees and editorial boards. He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, the American College of Endocrinology and the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. He has also been elected to a number of honorary societies, including the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences.

The new professorship to which Shulman has been appointed was established recently by Yale College alumnus Robert L. McNeil Jr. in honor of his former professor George R. Cowgill, who taught at the School of Medicine from 1921 to 1960. The chair is awarded to a faculty member who uses the techniques of physiological chemistry to conduct translational research to best study human health and disease, and who is noted as well for mentorship and teaching.

Dr. Shulman’s work is supported by the Yale Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) grant from the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health.

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