The University of Colorado School of Medicine
has received $2 million in gifts – including a $1.5 million lead gift from an
anonymous donor and $500,000 from The Battin Trust – to establish an endowed
chair at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes (BDC).
inaugural holder of the Richard Abrams and Marian Rewers Endowed Chair for
Clinical Research to Eradicate Childhood Diabetes will be Marian Rewers, MD,
PhD, who will continue his groundbreaking research at CU toward prevention of
chair is named in honor of Rewers and his longtime colleague Richard Abrams,
MD, who founded Colorado Preventive Medicine at Rose Medical Center. During his
career of more than thirty years, Abrams has been dedicated to management of
diabetes during pregnancy and preventing and treating complications from
diabetes. Abrams wrote and edited several books on the management of diabetes
and led the American Diabetes Association Council on Pregnancy.
gift supports the implementation of results from two National Institutes of
Health (NIH)-funded research projects led by Rewers at CU’s Anschutz Medical
Campus. His research has narrowed down the search for possible environmental
causes of type 1 diabetes and ways to prevent it.
of type 1 diabetes is a lofty goal, but we want to set the bar high,” said
Rewers, who is a professor of pediatrics and medicine and BDC clinical
director. “The endowed chair will help us take the next step from knowing the
cause to taking action and more specifically, action here in Colorado that can
help Colorado kids avoid diabetes.”
type 1 diabetes, the body’s immune system attacks insulin-producing cells in
the pancreas. Affected persons produce little or none of the insulin needed to
convert sugar into energy. The most severe chronic disease affecting children
and young adults, type 1 diabetes has no cure and must be managed with daily
BDC was founded in 1978. Currently it provides treatment for 3,600 children and
2,400 adults with type 1 diabetes.
donor is a strong supporter of the Barbara Davis Center and the Children’s
Diabetes Foundation, whose core purpose is to support the work of the BDC,”
Rewers said. “This person would like to see action fast and results in the near
future. We were chosen because we have something that is already very advanced
1993, Rewers initiated the NIH-funded Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young
(DAISY), which screened for genetic markers of diabetes in 30,000 newborns and
tracked the health of 2,500 who had a high genetic risk. Rewers and his
colleagues were able to exclude routine immunizations, childhood obesity and
baby formula made from cow’s milk as triggers of type 1 diabetes. Their
research findings linked certain viral infections to an increase in the risk
for diabetes, while also determining that omega-free fatty acids may protect
against the disease.
the foundations of research from DAISY, the NIH funded The Environmental
Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY). That research has incorporated
data from 424,000 children in Europe and America and the team is following
8,766 children who have the highest risk for diabetes. TEDDY is on track to
produce new findings helping to prevent type 1 diabetes in the near future.
at the University Of Colorado School Of Medicine work to advance science and
improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and
scientists at University of Colorado Hospital, Children’s Hospital Colorado,
Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical
Center. The school is located on the Anschutz Medical
one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system. To learn more about
the medical school’s care, education, research and community engagement, visit
its web site.