The 3rd Annual Stefan S. Fajans Lecture in Diabetes was held on:
Susumo Seino, M.D., D.M. Sci.
Stefan S. Fajans, M.D.
Friday, May 4, 2012
Kellogg Eye Center
Brehm Tower, ground floor
1000 Wall Street, Ann Arbor 48105
Map and directions
"Mechanisms of insulin secretion — interplay of glucose metabolism, cAMP, and sulfonylurea"
Susumu Seino, M.D., D.M. Sci.
Professor and Head
Division of Diabetes and Endocrinology
Department of Internal Medicine
Division of Cellular and Molecular Medicine
Department of Physiology and Cellular Biology
Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine
This annual lecture in honor of Dr. Fajans, sponsored by the University of Michigan Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes, recognizes a renowned diabetes investigator and/or physician who has made significant contributions to the field. The 2012 Stefan S. Fajans Lecture in Diabetes was given by Susumu Seino, M.D., D.M. Sci. Dr. Seino is Professor and Head, Division of Diabetes and Endocrinology, Department of Internal Medicine and Division of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Department of Physiology and Cellular Biology, at Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine in Kobe, Japan.
Susumu Seino received his M.D. at Kobe University School of Medicine, Japan. After experiencing clinical practice, he did research on pancreatic hormones at Kyoto University School of Medicine, where he received a D.M. Sci. degree.
Dr. Seino then moved to the USA in 1982 to work with Prof. Aaron Vinik and Prof. Stefan Fajans at the University of Michigan, and subsequently worked at the University of California-San Francisco and the University of Chicago. During his 10 years in the USA, Dr. Seino contributed to research on the cloning of genes involved in glucose metabolism, including insulin receptors, various glucose transporters, somatostatin receptors, and many others.
In 1991, Dr. Seino returned to Japan and his research at Chiba University focused on molecular mechanisms of insulin secretion. In 2003 he settled at Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine and is currently Professor and Head of the Division of Diabetes and Endocrinology and the Division of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.
Dr. Seino’s discoveries on the structure of the ATP-sensitive K+ channel have led to new understandings of the ion channel in pancreatic beta cells, the heart, and many other tissues and cells. In addition, his research on the ATP-sensitive K+ channel laid the groundwork for new approaches for treating patients with permanent neonatal diabetes. His discovery that the protein is responsible for cAMP-dependent, PKA-independent exocytosis was of fundamental importance, elucidating the molecular mechanism integrating G-protein coupled receptor signaling to insulin secretion.
Recently, Dr. Seino found that Epac 2 is also a target of anti-diabetic sulfonylurea drugs. This is expected to contribute to the development of new treatments for diabetes.
Dr. Seino’s scientific achievements have been recognized by awards both at home and abroad. In May 2010, he received the Donald F. Steiner Award for Outstanding Achievement in Diabetes Research from the University of Chicago and in September of that year he received the Albert Renold Prize for Outstanding Achievements in Research on the Islets of Langerhans from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).
In November 2011, Dr. Seino was granted a Medal of Honor with Purple Ribbon by the Emperor of Japan. “I know this honor would never be granted to me without Professor Fajans and all my colleagues in the United States and in Japan,” he stated.
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Stefan S. Fajans, M.D., Active Professor Emeritus of the Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes, became a member of the University of Michigan Medical School faculty in 1949. He served as Chief of the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism from 1973 to 1987 and as the Director of the University of Michigan Diabetes Research and Training Center from 1977 to 1986. Dr. Fajans devoted a large portion of his scientific career to the study of diabetes and made important contributions to the understanding of its etiology, diagnosis and treatment. For more on his work and career, please see this bio of Dr. Stefan S. Fajans [PDF].