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Berryman to head-up Ohio University’s newly formed Diabetes Institute


(ATHENS, Ohio – Sept. 19, 2012)  Ohio University appointed Darlene Berryman, Ph.D., R.D., as director of The Diabetes Institute at Ohio University, the first initiative of the Ohio University Health Sciences Center. The Institute was created to bring together the many diabetes-related programs throughout the university in an effort to best address one of the most critical health-care issues facing Americans.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one in three Americans born in the year 2000 will develop diabetes. Although the incidence in Ohio is higher than in the rest of the nation at 9.5%, it is higher yet—at 11.5%—in southeastern Appalachian Ohio.

“It is an exciting time to be involved in the study of diabetes at Ohio University,” Dr. Berryman said.  In the past we developed a number of initiatives in research, clinical services, and educational programming. Now with the establishment of The Diabetes Institute, these initiatives are housed under one unit enhancing the synergy we have developed to address this devastating disease.”

The Ohio University Board of Trustees renamed the Diabetes Endocrine Center as The Diabetes Institute at Ohio University. The newly named institute will assume and build upon several existing initiatives including the Diabetes Research Initiative, the Diabetes Coalition and the clinical services, provided through the Diabetes Endocrine Center, a clinic for diabetes patient care located on the O’Bleness Hospital campus.

The Institute will expand opportunities for further development of diabetes research, clinical care, education and community outreach.  “With the establishment of the Institute, we will be able to make a significant impact towards reducing the diabetes disease burden regionally, nationally and globally,” Dr. Berryman said. 

Dr. Berryman is one of several strategic appointments made possible in part by the historic $105 million gift to the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations. Dr. Berryman has a dual appointment with both OU-HCOM and the College of Health Sciences and Professions. In addition to her directorship responsibilities, she will continue her obesity research at the Edison Biotechnology Institute and as associate professor of food and nutrition and continue to oversee the Diabetes Certificate Program.

“We are pleased that Dr. Berryman will be providing leadership for The Diabetes Institute. I’ve had a chance to work closely with her on a number of activities and know, first, hand, both her level of dedication and the quality of her work,” said Randy Leite, Ph.D., dean of the College of Health Science and Professions.

The Institute will be administratively housed in OU-HCOM, with financial and personnel resources contributed by the College of Health Science of Professions, the Edison Biotechnology Institute, and the Office of Vice President for Research and Creative Activity. “This is an important partnership for the College of Health Sciences and Professions. The Diabetes Institute represents a huge step forward in the University’s commitment to being a leader in our focus on diabetes in our academic programs, our research, and our health outreach to the community,” Dr. Leite said. 

Additional funding for The Diabetes Institute comes from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundations’ gift.  Included in the gift is funding for additional faculty focused on basic and translational diabetes research, including the John J. Kopchick, Ph.D., Osteopathic Heritage Foundation Endowed Eminent Research Chair, which honors the most prominent diabetes researcher at Ohio University and is slated to be filled in five years.  Funding from the gift will also support a new diabetes clinical care and research center and the staffing of that facility with diabetologists, endocrinologist and other specialists who treat diabetes-related complications 

 “This is a very exciting and transformational time at OU-HCOM. Our focus in education is on primary care and inter-disciplinary education. Our focus in research is on those areas that are the most prevalent in human suffering,” said OU-HCOM Dean Kenneth Johnson, D.O. “The Diabetes Institute is a place for us that coalesces our focuses and strategies in the best manner possible.”

The newly created Ohio University Health Sciences Center offers an organizational incubator to encourage interdisciplinary collaborations, maximize research potential, and integrate health care research and training.

"The Diabetes Institute builds upon the remarkable achievements already attained in diabetes research, education, and healthcare delivery at Ohio University.  The Institute will be a cornerstone of the new Health Sciences Center, and I am extremely pleased that Dr. Berryman will be leading it towards national prominence," said Jack Brose, D.O., vice provost for health affairs at Ohio University.

 

About the College of Health Sciences and Professions

With an online and campus enrollment of nearly 10,000 students, the College of Health Sciences and Professions is home to Ohio University’s fastest-growing academic programs. CHSP also oversees several community service providers that offer valuable practical experience for its students. These include WellWorks, a fitness and nutrition center that serves campus employees; Ohio University Therapy Associates, whose hearing, speech and physical therapy clinics provide care for the medically underserved region; and Kids on Campus, whose afterschool and summer programs help children who are academically at risk.

 

About Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

The Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine is a leader in providing a patient-centered, clinically integrated medical education continuum, from pre-medical education to undergraduate medical education, and on through residency training, with an emphasis on primary care. Focused research and community health programs speak to the college’s commitment to improving health and well-being in Ohio communities and quality of life for patients. Commercialized medical research innovations have saved patient lives worldwide and placed Ohio University first in state and fourth in the nation among higher education institutions for research return-on-investments. The state’s only osteopathic medical school, the college was founded in 1975 and is located at Ohio University’s Athens, Ohio campus. Visit us at http://www.oucom.ohiou.edu/

 
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Last updated: 11/30/2012