Late last week, Diabetes Center Faculty Member and Interim Director of the Diabetes Center Matthias Hebrok, PhD, was appointed by Sam Hawgood, MD, the Dean of the School of Medicine, to serve as Director of the Diabetes Center. Dr. Hebrok, the Hurlbut-Johnson Distinguished Professor in Diabetes Research , is one of the world's foremost experts on pancreatic development.
Dr. Hebrok has been with the Diabetes Center since 1999, having been recruited from Harvard University where he completed his post-doctoral training as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute fellow under Douglas Melton, PhD. His graduate work was at the Max-Planck Institute for Immunobiology in Freiburg, Germany. Dr. Hebrok's research focuses on pancreas development and stem cells, particularly on how islets are formed during organogenesis, how their function is regulated once mature, and how changes in gene expression might enable islet regeneration and the transformation of stem cells into insulin-producing beta cells.
Stated Dr. Hebrok, "I am humbled and honored to have been chosen for this position, recognizing the tremendous responsibilities it entails. Over the last ten years, Jeff Bluestone built the Diabetes Center into one of the best diabetes-focused programs in the country. I relish the opportunity to further Jeff's exceptional efforts and expand the Diabetes Center in all areas of our comprehensive program: basic scientific and clinical research, clinical care, and the education of our future scientists, clinicians and our patient community."
As the new Director of the Diabetes Center, Dr. Hebrok will be leading a team of research faculty and staff members who conduct research in diabetes. In addition, he will be working closely with both the pediatric and adult clinical practices, the Diabetes Teaching Center, and diabetes "neighborhoods" on all of the UCSF campuses. Finally, to ensure the ongoing success of the overall program, he will be focused on generating significantly more government and private philanthropic support to fuel our promising research pipeline and to support the clinical enterprise at UCSF.
Congratulations, Matthias, on your new appointment and thank you for leading the charge to help improve the lives of those living with diabetes.