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Rachmiel Levine Symposium

15th Annual Rachmiel Levine Diabetes and Obesity Symposium
March 1 to 4, 2015

San Diego, Calif.

Presented by the Diabetes Research Center at City of Hope
1500 East Duarte Road, Duarte, CA
Made possible by the Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope


Scientific Organizing Committee Members
Carla Greenbaum, M.D.
Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, Seattle, WA
David Harlan, M.D.
University of Massachusetts School of Medicine, Worcester, MA
Fouad Kandeel, M.D., Ph.D. (Chair)
City of Hope, Duarte, CA
Olle Korsgren, M.D., Ph.D.
Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden

Rama Natarajan, Ph.D.
City of Hope, Duarte, CA

Bart Roep, M.D., Ph.D.
Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
Ann Marie Schmidt, M.D.
NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY

Andrew Stewart, M.D.
Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY

Robert Vigersky, M.D.
Diabetes Institute of the Walter Reed Health Care System, Washington, DC
Matthias von Herrath, M.D.
La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla, CA

Howard Zisser, M.D.
Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, Santa Barbara, CA


  On/Before 12/31/14 On/Before 02/01/15 On/After 02/02/15
Four Days: Physician/Scientist/Industry Professional $525.00 $550.00 $575.00
Four Days: Nurse/Resident/Student/Trainee (Must provide proof of status with registration) $325.00 $350.00 $375.00
Single Day $250.00 $275.00 $300.00
How to Register
Fax: Print the registration form , complete and fax with credit card information to:  626-301-8939.

Mail: Print the registration form , complete and mail with your payment to: CME Department, ATTN: CME Registration, 1500 East Duarte Road, Duarte, CA, 91010  (Checks/money orders must be payable to City of Hope-Levine Symposium.)

Online: Coming Soon.

Cancellation and Refund Policy
All refund requests must be submitted in writing and postmarked no later than January 31, 2015.  Refund requests postmarked on or before January 31 will receive a registration refund LESS a $100 processing fee. Refund requests postmarked after January 31 will not be honored. All refunds will be processed 30 days after the meeting concludes. In the event of unforeseeable circumstances that lead to the cancellation by the conference organizers of the above-mentioned conference, all registration fees would be fully refunded.
Attendees Traveling to the United States
An official letter of registration to facilitate a visa application can be forwarded to any attendee upon request. The letter will be sent only to the person who has paid the registration fees. However, the invitation implies no obligation of the Levine Symposium to cover accommodation, travel expenses, or other costs related to the meeting. Requests should be directed to the Program Coordinator via email at levinesymposium@coh.org.

Call for Abstracts

Requirements for Submission
Authors must register for the conference before submitting an abstract. Upon successful registration, a confirmation number will be e-mailed to the address provided on the registration form.
How to Submit:  The registration confirmation number, author name, author email, and the abstract submission document must be submitted via email to levinesymposium@coh.org.  By submitting your abstract, you are confirming the originality and authenticity of the data being presented.
Confirmation: Upon successful submission, an email confirmation will be sent to the author.
Selection Process
All abstracts will be reviewed in a blinded review process. Originality of work, adequacy of data, and clarity of exposition are the determinants used in the selection of abstracts for presentation. The Scientific Organizing Committee Chair will make the final decision with respect to the selection of any abstract.  Authors will be notified via e-mail if their abstract is accepted or rejected.
Poster Session
The poster session is designed to allow for direct interaction and significant exchange of ideas between participants. Posters will be on display for the duration of the symposium with the poster session taking place the evening of March 2. Instructions on poster set up at the conference site will be e-mailed to the presenting authors the week of February 2.

Scientific Achievement Award
Authors of the top abstracts will be presented with the Rachmiel Levine Symposium Scientific Achievement Award and be invited to provide an oral presentation during the general session.  Winning authors will be notified prior to the conference start date and MUST BE present to accept their award.

Publication of Abstracts
Abstracts may be revised up until the abstract submission deadline date. Final abstracts will be printed as submitted in the conference Program and Abstract Book. Changes to abstracts will not be accepted after publication and therefore should be carefully written and edited prior to submission. Abstracts accepted for presentation may also be published in special proceedings of the Rachmiel Levine Symposium and posted on the conference web site.
Abstract Guidelines
Length: Size limit for abstracts is 250 words or 1,500 characters, excluding the abstract title, authors’ names and affiliations. Any characters in a table and/or figure will count towards the size limit.
Format: All documents must be submitted as a Word Document (.doc/.docx) or Rich Text Form (.rtf). Adobe PDF Files(.pdf) will not be accepted.
Abstract Title: The abstract title should be in UPPER CASE BOLD. Do not use subtitles (e.g., Methods, Results) in the abstract body.
Author: Author(s)' complete first and last name(s) should be listed in Title Case. The name of the presenting author should be Underlined.  If an author appears on more than one abstract the name should be listed the same way on all. Do not list credentials, degrees, academic title(s) (e.g., MD, RN).

Affiliation: Include departments, division, institutional affiliation(s), city and state (postal abbreviations) or country of origin of work. Do not include street address and zip code. Affiliation(s) should be listed in Title Case italic.
John Jones1, Jane A. Doe, Adam Smith, Mary Brown2
1 Department of Endocrinology and 2 Department of Immunology, City of Hope, Duarte, CA
Body: Abstracts must be as informative as possible, including a brief statement of the purpose of the study or why it was done, the methods used, the results observed, and the author(s)' conclusions based upon the results. Actual data should be summarized. It is inadequate to state "The results will be discussed" or "The data will be presented."

Use of standard abbreviations is requested. Examples include kg, g, mg, mL, L (liter), m (meter), / (per), and % (percent). Place a special or unusual abbreviation in parentheses after the full word the first time it appears, then use the abbreviation throughout the rest of the abstract. Use numerals to indicate numbers, except when beginning a sentence.
Nonproprietary (generic) names should be used the first time a drug is mentioned and typed in lowercase letters; names are always capitalized, for example, aspirin (Bufferin).
Do not include references, credits, or grant support information in the abstract.

Tables, Figures or Graphics: Tables and graphics may be used to present data and will count towards the character limit.
Authors who wish to withdraw their abstract, must notify the Program Coordinator in writing.  No fees will be refunded as a result of abstract withdrawal.


Trainee Housing Form
The Levine Symposium will be offering one free hotel room night stay at the meeting venue to trainees, as space permits. Early registration and submission of the Trainee Housing Form is encouraged.

Directions to Hotel


The City of Hope is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
City of Hope designates this live activity for a maximum of TBD AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.
The following may apply CME Category 1 credit for license renewal:
Registered Nurses
Nurses may report up to TBD credit hours toward the continuing education requirements for license renewal by their state Board of Registered Nurses (BRN). CME may be noted on the license renewal application in lieu of a BRN provider number.
Physician’s Assistants
The National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants states that AMA accredited Category 1 courses are acceptable for CME requirements for recertification.

Core Competencies
The American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) have embarked on a joint initiative to quantify and evaluate a set of 6 physician core competencies by which the individual physician will be measured for Residency Certification, Board Certification and more recently, Maintenance of Certification (MOC). Individual hospitals and other health care delivery organizations will now also be evaluated by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) on their practice and demonstration of the 6 core competencies.
In brief the actual term “core competencies” refers to those 6 abilities (competencies) that are central (core) to the practice of medicine, specifically: 1) Patient Care, 2) Medical Knowledge, 3) Practice Based Learning, 4) Interpersonal and Communication Skills, 5) Professionalism, and 6) Systems-Based Practice.
To assist our conferees in demonstrating their completion of continuing medical education in the 6 core competencies the educational content of each presentation in this conference will have been reviewed by the program directors. Core competencies addressed in the educational content of each presentation will be noted by numbers 1-6 adjacent to the title of the individual presentation in the conference syllabus. CME Certificates for this activity will reflect those core competencies addressed by the educational content of the overall conference.


Plenary Lecture (11:00 am)
Session 1: Diabetes complications: New biomarkers and drug targets (11:55 am to 1:55 pm)
Session 2: Personalized medicine in future diabetes care (2:15 pm to 4:15 pm)

Oral Presentations (4:35 pm)
Presentation of Rachmiel Levine Scientific Achievement Awards and Dinner Lecture (6:00 pm)

Session 1: Epigenetics of diabetes (8:00 am to 10:00 am)

Session 2: Obesity and inflammation (10:20 am to 12:20 pm)

Session 3: Metabolism and inflammation (1:30 pm to 3:30 pm)
Debate: Can adult human beta cells proliferate? (3:50 pm to 5:00 pm)
Plenary Lecture (5:00 pm to 5:35 pm)
Poster Session (5:35 pm)

Session 1: Lessons from human insulinoma for beta cell regeneration (8:00 am to 10:00 am)
Session 2: Novel molecules that induce human beta cell replication (10:20 am to 12:20 pm)

Session 3: Reprogramming islet cells to beta cells (1:30 pm to 3:30 pm)
Session 4: The stressful life of the diabetic cell (3:50 pm to 5:50 pm)
Debate (6:10 pm to 7:20 pm)

Session 1: Biomarkers (8:00 am to 10:00 am)
Session 2: Diabetes technology updates (10:20 am to 12:20 pm)

Session 3: Novel approaches to understanding and treating hypoglycemia (12:40 pm to 2:40 pm)
Plenary Lecture (2:40 pm to 3:15 pm)

Rachmiel Levine, M.D.

Dr. Rachmiel Levine, known as the "Wise Owl" at City of Hope, was born on August 26, 1910 in Eastern Poland. At the age of six he suffered the loss of his mother and ten years later, his father died in an anti-Jewish riot in the Ukraine. At the age of sixteen, Rachmiel discovered that he had relatives who lived in America and attempted to relocate to the United States. Unable to obtain the visa to come to the United States, Rachmiel immigrated to Canada and was adopted by a Canadian physician. His first career choice was mathematics, but the depression of the 1930s influenced his decision to instead enter the field of medicine.
Rachmiel Levine received his undergraduate degree in 1932 and continued his education at McGill University, where he obtained his medical degree with honors in 1936. After medical school, he relocated to work in the field of diabetes research with Dr. Samuel Soskin at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Dr. Levine completed his internship and residency training at the Michael Reese Hospital between the years 1936-1938. From the years 1942-1960 he served as Director of the Department of Metabolism, Chairman of the Department of Medicine, and Director of Medical Education at Michael Reese Hospital. Dr. Levine later relocated to New York Medical College where he served as Chairman of the Department of Medicine from 1960-1971.
In 1971, Dr. Rachmiel Levine became the Executive Medical Director at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California. He served as Director for eight years, and in 1984, the City of Hope honored him with the title, Deputy Director for Research Emeritus.
Dr. Levine's research strengths were initially illustrated in his first published paper with Dr. Samuel Soskin entitled, "The Effects of Blood-Sugar Level on Glucose Utilization". With this research study, he introduced the theory that the greater the amount of glucose present in the blood, the greater the amount that is used by the body. In 1946, he published the book entitled, "Carbohydrate Metabolism". The publication of this book helped lay the base for future diabetes studies through its concise basic science summary. In 1949, he gained the title "Father of Modern Diabetes Research" by becoming the first scientist to discover the role of insulin in glucose metabolism. While studying at Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Dr. Levine and his colleagues, Dr. Samuel Soskin and Dr. Maurice Goldstein, determined "insulin's mechanical role in glucose metabolism". Contrary to the assumption that glucose molecules freely passed through the cell membrane, Dr. Levine's theory, known as the "Levine Effect" or transport theory, suggested that insulin served as the key regulatory factor for the transport of glucose into the cells. Dr. Levine theorized that insulin stimulates the transport of glucose from blood to fat/muscle cells and thus lowers blood glucose level.
Dr. Rachmiel Levine's greatest challenge was to prove his theory to the scientific community. To dispel the ideology that insulin only served in the chemical metabolism of glucose once inside the cell, Dr. Levine performed the following experiment. He injected dogs with galactose and then with galactose plus insulin, and measured the amount of galactose in the blood. Galactose is similar to glucose, in that it can be equally transported across the cell membrane, however once inside the cell, galactose cannot be metabolized like glucose. If successful, the test would show that galactose could only be transported across the cell membrane in the presence of insulin. Dr. Levine's tests proved that galactose collected in the cells and, as a consequence, galactose levels in the blood dropped.
Although Dr. Levine and his colleagues were able to publish their theory, it took them years to thoroughly convince the scientific community. Once accepted, Dr. Levine's theory opened up doors to a new era of hormone research.
Dr. Levine's research success continued at the City of Hope National Medical Center as he developed the City of Hope Diabetes Program. In 1978, Dr. Levine encouraged Dr. Arthur D. Riggs and Dr. Keiichi Itakura to genetically engineer E-coli bacteria to produce human insulin (Humulin®). This new preparation of human insulin was the first genetically engineered health care product approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and is now used by over 4 million people worldwide. Dr. Rachmiel Levine retired from City of Hope on November 15, 1991 but continued to contribute to the scientific community until the last weeks of his life. He left behind a legacy of over sixty years of diabetes research and served as mentor and advisor to many. Dr. Levine set an example for all scientists with his concept of a good scientist: "In my opinion a good research scientist needs to have endless curiosity and enormous amounts of patience, since answers in the field of research come slowly and most painfully."

Dr. Levine was married to the late Anne Gussack, a psychiatric social worker and is survived by his daughter, Judith Anne Feldman, MD, a Boston psychiatrist and his son, Daniel Saul Levine, a professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Arlington. Dr. Rachmiel Levine died in Boston, Massachusetts on February 24, 1998, but will be remembered for his great contributions to the scientific world. Below is a small sample of the awards and honors that Dr. Levine received over the course of his lifetime.

Executive Medical Director, Emeritus: City of Hope
American Diabetes Association's Banting Medal
American Diabetes Association's Charles H. Best Medal
Joslin Medal
Thompson Medal
President of Harvey Society
Member of American Association of Physicians
Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Spirit of Life Award: City of Hope
Lydia and Paul Kalmanovitz Chair in the Biology of Nutrition at City of Hope
Honorary Doctorate of Science degrees: Northwestern and McGill Universities
1964-1965: President of the American Diabetes Association
1967-1970: President and currently Life President of International Diabetes Federation
1980: New York College of Medicine dedicates diabetes center in honor of Dr. Levine
1982: Elected into National Academy of Sciences
1986: W.D. Sansum Award
1995: City of Hope dedicated the Rachmiel Levine, MD, Diabetes Reading Room in its Lee Graff Medical Library

R Levine, MS Goldstein, B Huddlestun, SP Klein. Action of insulin on the permeability of cells to free hexoses, as studied by its effect on the distribution of galactose. Am J Physiol 163:70-76, 1950.
R Levine, M Goldstein. On the mechanism of action of insulin. Recent Prog Horm Res 11:343-380, 1955.
R Levine. Insulin action: 1948-80. Diabetes Care 4:38-44, 1981.
Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Research
City of Hope’s Department of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Research, housed in the Leslie & Susan Gonda (Goldschmied) Diabetes & Genetic Research Center.  The Department encompasses the laboratory efforts of two Divisions, the Division of Developmental & Translational Diabetes and Endocrine Research Directed by Dr. Fouad Kandeel, and the Division of Molecular Diabetes Research, Directed by Dr. Rama Natarajan.
Contact Us
For conference inquiries:
Karen Ramos
Program Coordinator
Phone: 800-679-4673
For exhibit inquiries:
Leonard Chen
Corporate Representative
Phone: 800-679-4673
Email: levinesymposium@coh.org
About City of Hope
Ranked as one of  "America’s Best Hospitals" in cancer by U.S.News & World Report, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of hematopoietic cell transplantation and genetics. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest honor bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, City of Hope's research and treatment protocols advance care throughout the nation.

Learn more >>
ICT Mission
The mission of the City of Hope ICT program is to address the problems currently facing islet transplantation and catalyze advancements in the field by sharing the vast and unique resources and expertise available in Southern California.
City of Hope has a long-standing commitment to Continuing Medical Education (CME), sharing advances in cancer research and treatment with the health-care community through CME courses such as conferences, symposia and other on and off campus CME opportunities for medical professionals.
Recognized nationwide for its innovative biomedical research, City of Hope's Beckman Research Institute is home to some of the most tenacious and creative minds in science.
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