Archive ScienceWatch

Steven Shoelson talks with and answers a few questions about this month's Emerging Research Front Paper in the field of Biology & Biochemistry.
Shoelson Article: Inflammation and insulin resistance
Authors: Shoelson, SE;Lee, J;Goldfine, AB
Journal: J CLIN INVEST, 116 (7): 1793-1801 JUL 2006
Addresses: Harvard Univ, Sch Med, Joslin Diabet Ctr, 1 Joslin Pl, Boston, MA 02215 USA.
Harvard Univ, Sch Med, Joslin Diabet Ctr, Boston, MA 02215 USA.
Harvard Univ, Sch Med, Dept Med, Boston, MA 02215 USA.

Why do you think your paper is highly cited?

We made a fundamental discovery in diabetes research and were lucky to be able to translate the discovery to humans.

Does it describe a new discovery, methodology, or synthesis of knowledge?

Based on a synthesis of knowledge and ideas, we made a discovery that has broad implications for both pathogenesis and new treatments.

Would you summarize the significance of your paper in layman's terms?

Obesity and diabetes have reached epidemic proportions. Our studies identified a molecular connection between them, which helped show how obesity promotes insulin resistance and diabetes, and also identified a new way of treating diabetes. As a result, in addition to understanding the basic biology, we have been able to conduct increasingly large clinical trials.

How did you become involved in this research and were any particular problems encountered along the way?

Having worked in diabetes research for a long time, I am perhaps most amazed and frustrated by the degree that dogma dictates areas of investigation in the field, and the dogma is often wrong. Leaders in the field all too often mislead the field.

Where do you see your research leading in the future?

To provide new understandings of the underlying mechanisms of metabolic disease, and new ways to treat diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Steven E. Shoelson, M.D., Ph.D.
Section Head, Cellular & Molecular Physiology
Department of Medicine
Joslin Diabetes Center
Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
Boston, MA, USA


Keywords: diabetes research, obesity, epidemic proportions, obesity promotes insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease.

Download this article

2008 : August 2008 : Steven Shoelson