Beckman Research Institute recently bestowed the faculty title of distinguished professor on two highly accomplished, veteran researchers.
Samuel Rahbar, M.D., Ph.D., professor of diabetes, endocrinology and metabolism, and Kazuo Ikeda, Ph.D., professor of neurosciences, received the honor last fall following nominations from the Beckman Council.
The distinguished professor title is bestowed on scientists who have earned wide international recognition through their research and professional achievements.
|Kazuo Ikeda, left, and Samuel Rahbar received distinguished professor appointments in recognition of their career research achievements. (Photo by Darrin S. Joy)|
“Dr. Ikeda and Dr. Rahbar are both excellent scientists known worldwide and held in very high esteem by colleagues in their respective fields,” said Richard Jove, Ph.D., director of Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope. “Aside from the contributions they’ve made to science, their efforts have significantly strengthened the reputation of our institution, as well.”
Ikeda studies how nerve cells communicate with each other. He was one of the first to explore the role of genetics in the transmission of nerve impulses and was one of the founders of the field of neurogenetics in the late 1960s. He holds the distinction of being the only person ever to receive the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke’s Jacob Javitz Award twice, first in 1985 and then again in 1992.
Ikeda joined City of Hope in 1967 after holding positions at Juntendo University in Tokyo, Japan, and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif. He received his doctorate in physiology from the Graduate School of Medicine and Faculty of Medicine of the University of Tokyo.
Rahbar discovered the first known abnormal form of hemoglobin, called HbA1c, in the red blood cells of people with diabetes. HbA1c forms when the sugar glucose reacts with hemoglobin, the molecule that carries oxygen in red blood cells. Health professionals measure HbA1c levels to assess the risk of diabetes-related complications and to gauge the effectiveness of diabetes treatment.
Rahbar now focuses his research on finding molecules that inhibit glycation, the reaction of glucose with other molecules in the body, including hemoglobin. Glycation is the source of many diabetes-related complications such as damage to the eyes, nerves, kidneys and other organs.
He arrived at City of Hope in 1979 following two decades as a researcher at the University of Tehran in Tehran, Iran. He received both his medical degree, in 1953, and his Doctor of Philosophy degree, in 1963, from the University of Tehran.
The Beckman Council or the Faculty Senate may nominate a faculty member for appointment as a distinguished professor. The Beckman Research Institute director then makes the appointment following consideration of the faculty member’s qualifications.