Canadian Scientist Honoured with International Award for Diabetic Research

In a recent Toronto Star article, first reported by the Canadian Press, Dr. Daniel Drucker entered the spotlight. His several decades of incredible contributions towards diabetic research had earned him the 2021 Canada Gairdner International Award. His findings over the years have proven instrumental in not only better understanding diabetes and obesity, but also how best to approach treating it. 

Today, let’s explore the fundamentals of those findings as well as his most recent endeavours. 

Research Accelerated by the Pandemic

While many laboratories and other environments had to be shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic – Dr. Drucker’s wasn’t spared from this – his studies on various enzymes did anything but slow down. In fact, the dipeptidyl-peptidase-4 (DPP4) enzyme he had been painstakingly analyzing over the years raised several questions. Some wondered whether it was acting as a receptor to the virus, as mentioned in the Toronto Star and elsewhere. 

His findings from continued research amidst the pandemic yielded much fruit in terms of evidence dismissing this theory. As individuals suffering from obesity and/or diabetes are more prone to serious health complications – or worse – when infected with COVID-19 (though it should be noted that there isn’t a higher risk of infection), he was able to harness existing data to verify that DPP4 doesn’t encourage viral infections. Instead, he notes, the focus should turn on the relationship between COVID-19 and diabetes.

Leveraging Type 2 Diabetes Treatment Innovations

In the years prior to the pandemic, Dr. Drucker had spearheaded intensive research on treatment solutions for type 2 diabetes, intestinal disorders, obesity, and other issues. Along with the assistance of fellow researchers Joel Habener and Jens Holst, they were able to help develop innovations in drug treatment for these issues. This incredible breakthrough is what earned Dr. Drucker the 2021 Canada Gairdner International Award, and the stacks of data behind the innovations the trio refined are being used today to help us better understand the correlation between COVID-19 and diabetes.

Facing the Future

It goes without saying that diabetics of any sort must regulate their diets and closely monitor their blood sugar on a daily basis. Combined with a healthier, more active lifestyle, they have the ability to keep their condition under better control. Dr. Drucker’s research is continuing, with the Toronto Star noting his commitment towards raising awareness of the connection between COVID-19, excessive body weight and diabetes.

We’re hugely inspired by Dr. Drucker’s contributions as well as those of dedicated professionals who have worked alongside him. It’s thanks to these pioneers of treatment innovation that new, proven solutions are being refined and introduced more frequently, helping healthcare providers better serve patients. If you or a loved one lives with diabetes and struggles to take care of daily needs, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Qualicare Waterloo. We’re happy to assist with compassionate in-home caregiving services and more.

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