The ARGI Financial Physician of the Year Award (2011)
Kupper A. Wintergerst, M.D., Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology; Director, TrialNet Studies,
University of Louisville
How did winning a MediStar Award affect you either professionally, personally or both?
Although it has only been a few months since I received the award and joined a prestigious group of physicians, this award has already had a big impact. Hopefully this award has helped those in our community with diabetes.
Winning the MediStar Award led to a significant amount of professional recognition within the community, as well as at the University of Louisville. This recognition has led to additional media and lecture opportunities that have helped me to increase awareness of diabetes in Kentucky and southern Indiana.
In addition, this award placed a spotlight on our diabetes research efforts and has led to the establishment of a type 1 diabetes TrialNet center at the University of Louisville. TrialNet is an international research consortium that focuses on the prevention of type 1 diabetes. I look forward to beginning our research efforts in this endeavor within the next few months.
What personal or professional developments have occurred since you won your MediStar?
We have completed a follow-up study displaying the positive impact of improved health insurance coverage on diabetes care of children in Kentucky, and I have become Director of the type 1 diabetes TrialNet center at the University of Louisville.
TrialNet conducts clinical trials at 18 primary clinical centers located around the world and 150 affiliated sites. UofL Pediatrics-Endocrinology, now the only pediatric TrialNet site in Kentucky, has joined as an affiliate in cooperation with Vanderbilt University.
As an affiliate site, the TrialNet team will participate in a number of studies. The primary study and reason for the success of TrialNet is the Natural History Study. The Natural History Study screens children and adults who are at an increased risk for type 1 diabetes because of a family connection. The study involves drawing blood samples to look for antibodies that attack and destroy the cells that produce insulin. These antibodies may appear in the bloodstream up to 10 years before type 1 diabetes develops.
TrialNet is jointly funded by National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International and American Diabetes Foundation.
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