Jacob E. “Jed” Friedman, Ph.D., has been named as director of Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at OU Medicine and associate vice provost for diabetes programs at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, effective Jan. 1, 2019.
The announcement comes on the heels of a new $34 million gift made to Harold Hamm Diabetes Center. The gift from The Harold Hamm Foundation will be allocated over the next 10 years to fund research, technology and talent such as Friedman.
“We are enthusiastic that Dr. Friedman will grow the national and international research stature of the Diabetes Center, competing for sponsored funding, and recruiting and mentoring talented researchers,” said Jason Sanders, M.D., MBA, senior vice president and provost, OUHSC, and vice chair, OU Medicine. “He brings a clear vision for changing the course of diabetes prevention and treatment.”
Friedman comes to the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where he served as the director of the Colorado Program in Nutrition and Healthy Development and director of the National Institutes of Health Nutrition and Obesity Research Center laboratories for cellular and molecular metabolism. He was also a professor in pediatrics, biochemistry and molecular genetics, and medicine.
Friedman has earned numerous National Institutes of Health and industry funding awards, as well as a Gates Grand Challenge grant. He has more than 134 peer-reviewed articles to his credit and has been selected for publication in such prestigious journals as the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature Communications and Diabetes.
Friedman has led teams of researchers working in both basic and translational research areas. He is the lead investigator on numerous multi-Principal Investigator team science grants, and is involved with several clinical trials based on his basic science work. He was awarded the 2014 American Diabetes Association Norbert Freinkel Award, the highest award given for lifetime achievement in advancing the science and clinical care for diabetes in pregnancy.
"My vision for the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center is a focus on the emerging science of the developmental origins of diabetes and obesity identified in the first 1,000 days of life,” Friedman explained. “Research has established that a variety of adverse events in early developmental phases lead to lifelong metabolic problems.’
Friedman’s research will involve studies on metabolism, mitochondrial malfunction, microbiome and epigenetics, and he will advance clinical and translational research in women with gestational diabetes and their infants to halt the growing trend for obesity and diabetes in the next generation.