With a goal of stimulating innovative scientific research to find a cure for diabetes, the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center (HHDC) at the University of Oklahoma today announced the establishment of the Harold Hamm International Prize for Biomedical Research in Diabetes.
HHDC, a comprehensive center of excellence integrating novel research, world-class patient care, and large-scale prevention programs, will award and administer the $250,000 prize, one of the largest of its kind in the world, to recognize and promote lasting achievements in diabetes research.
The announcement was made in Philadelphia this afternoon by University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren and Harold G. Hamm, chairman and chief executive officer of Continental Resources, Inc. Both have Type 2 diabetes and are passionate about diabetes research and care. The announcement comes just prior to the opening of the American Diabetes Association’s 72nd Scientific Sessions.
“We can no longer ignore the growing global epidemic that is having a devastating impact on young and old alike and costing health systems worldwide billions of dollars each year,” said Boren. “At the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, we are on a mission to find a cure for diabetes and provide those suffering from the disease with dramatically improved clinical care. Our doctors are dedicated and focused on this mission and the establishment of the Harold Hamm International Prize for Biomedical Research in Diabetes will help us extend our reach to support and recognize others who share our passion. I would like to thank Harold Hamm, whose generosity and personal commitment to improving the lives of those with diabetes has led to the establishment of this important prize.”
The Harold Hamm International Prize will be awarded biennially to a laureate selected by a rotating jury of national and international leaders in the field of diabetes. It will be awarded solely on the basis of scientific merit, recognizing scientific breakthroughs in the field of diabetes, either Type 1 or Type 2 (or both), with special emphasis on progress towards a cure. Individual researchers, teams of researchers and research institutions are eligible for nomination by the jury.
“My hope is that by launching this major new international research prize, we will light a worldwide fire of scientific innovation toward finding a cure for diabetes within this generation,” said Hamm. “I’m excited to be part of this next chapter in the fight against diabetes and to see the outstanding new research the prize search will encourage and recognize.”
The growing severity of the global diabetes epidemic has become a pressing healthcare crisis. According to the International Diabetes Foundation, in 2011, there were 366 million people worldwide with diabetes and by 2030, that number is projected to grow to 552 million. Oklahoma ranks in the top four in the nation in diabetes prevalence. According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, there are 304,500 adult Oklahomans diagnosed with diabetes, and another 124,400 with undiagnosed diabetes, costing the state more than $3 billion a year. To be a catalyst for progress for a cure is the HHDC’s mission and its researchers’ passion.
“It’s fitting that this prize is being established at the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center. With Oklahoma ranking fourth in the United States in the prevalence of diabetes, our center has emerged as a world leader in diabetes research, treatment, and prevention. The launch of the prize is a great opportunity to further expand the center’s reach and collaborations to become a national and international leader in this important field. We must continue the momentum to make a meaningful impact on the diabetes health crisis,” Boren said.
To learn more about the Harold Hamm International Prize and its selection process, please visit www.HaroldHammPrize.org.
About the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center
The Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma is a comprehensive center of excellence committed to progress toward a cure for diabetes and its complications. The center is a world leader in the field of diabetes, engaging in more than $77 million in extramural grant funding acquired over the past decade, providing dramatically improved care to patients with diabetes, and developing effective strategies for the prevention of the disease. For more information, visit www.HaroldHammDiabetes.com or follow the Center on Twitter @hammdiabetesctr.