UW News

March 14, 2002

Poll Lecture brings Swedish diabetes expert to UW next week

Dr. Leif Groop, an internationally recognized diabetes researcher who is professor and head of endocrinology at Lund University and Malmo University Hospital in Malmo, Sweden, will be in Seattle next week to present the Harvey and Judy Poll Visiting Scholar Lecture. The lecture, intended for the public and sponsored by the School of Medicine and the Robert H. Williams Laboratory, will be at 7 p.m., Wednesday, March 20, in room K-069 of the Health Sciences Center. The topic is “The Many Faces of Diabetes.” Groop holds a medical degree from the University of Berne in Switzerland, a doctoral degree in medicine from the University of Helsinki, Finland, and two specialty degrees in internal medicine and endocrinology. He is a member of several international committees and boards. He is particularly interested in links between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in families, and in variations on the two commonly known types. Type 1, or insulin-dependent, diabetes is generally diagnosed early in life and results when the insulin-producing islet cells are destroyed in what is believed to be an autoimmune process. Type 2, also called adult-onset, or non-insulin-dependent, diabetes, is generally diagnosed in people over 40. It is believed to be caused by the body’s inability to use insulin effectively, and can range from mild to severe. Both types have long-term health effects, even when well-treated. In the Wallenberg Laboratory in Malmo, where Groop works, large-scale genetic studies following families with diabetes are under way to better understand the genetic complexity of the diseases. Among the projects is a registry which aims to include information on all diabetic patients in Southern Sweden. While in Seattle, Groop will also speak at a Diabetes Research Seminar at 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 19, in room D-209 of the Health Sciences Center. His topic then is “Type 2 Diabetes: A Collision Between Thrifty Genes and a Thrifty Environment.” The Poll Lecture is named for Harvey and Judy Poll, longtime donors and supporters of diabetes research at the UW. Harvey Poll died in July 2000.