City of Hope’s Arthur D. Riggs, Ph.D., a world-renowned expert in molecular biology and diabetes, and his wife, Jane, established the chair
DUARTE, Calif. — City of Hope’s Fouad R. Kandeel, M.D., Ph.D., has been named the inaugural recipient of the Arthur D. Riggs Distinguished Chair in Diabetes & Metabolism Research. A prestigious honor for elite faculty, the endowed chair is a highly coveted academic award at City of Hope and recognizes extraordinary physicians and scientists whose body of work has made significant contributions to biomedical research and the lives of patients.
"Dr. Riggs’s remarkable career makes him one of the leading scientists of our time, and the faculty member who holds the chair has the honor of being associated with an extraordinary individual,” said Robert W. Stone, City of Hope president and CEO. “Dr. Kandeel is a gifted and accomplished clinician and researcher, whose leadership in diabetes, thyroid cancers and neuroendocrine disease is helping us translate revolutionary discoveries into life-changing treatments."
“Together, Drs. Riggs and Kandeel represent almost 80 years of experience and service to City of Hope, as well as almost 80 years of inspired, innovative work in the fight against diabetes,” Stone added.
Kandeel’s tenure at City of Hope spans nearly 30 years. In addition to serving as teacher, clinician, researcher, administrator and mentor, he has played a central role in the development and growth of City of Hope’s diabetes efforts from its origins as a program to a recognized center and now to its current structure as an enterprise-wide institute, within which he currently serves as associate director.
Kandeel also serves as a key member of The Wanek Family Project for Type 1 Diabetes. With his innovative research in islet cell transplantation and decades of experience, Kandeel provides valuable ideas and direction to this institutional effort. He led efforts to create an islet processing facility at City of Hope, which has provided national distribution of islets and garnered multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health/JDRF. In addition, he serves as City of Hope’s organizing committee chair of the annual Rachmiel Levine-Arthur Riggs Diabetes Research Symposium, a comprehensive international scientific forum that covers advanced topics in diabetes research and brings together leading experts in the field annually. The event started in 2000.
Kandeel has also held leadership roles within numerous national and international academic and medical organizations, including the Cell Transplant Society, American Diabetes Association, International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health, American Society of Andrology, American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the Endocrine Society.
Prior to coming to City of Hope, Kandeel gained significant teaching and clinical experience at universities in the United States and abroad, including at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom and Tanta University, Egypt.
Arthur D. Riggs
Arthur D. Riggs, a world-renowned expert in molecular biology and diabetes, was best known for his role in the development of technology that led to the first synthetic human insulin for patients. In 1979, Riggs received the JDRF Award for work that resulted in the bacterial production of human insulin. This work led to the birth of the biotechnology industry.
Riggs then turned his attention to recombinant antibodies, setting the stage for their successful use in cancer treatment. He was a pioneer in the field of epigenetics, which is the study of persistent changes in gene expression that do not involve changes in primary base sequence. In recent years, Riggs’ research mainly focused on mammalian epigenetic mechanisms and DNA methylation.
This year marked Riggs’s 50th anniversary working at City of Hope, where he served as director of its Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute and was director emeritus of Beckman Research Institute of City of Hope. Riggs’ vision and leadership helped grow City of Hope’s diabetes research into one of the most innovative and fast-paced programs in the country.
Now, through the Arthur D. Riggs Distinguished Chair in Diabetes & Metabolism Research, the couple’s philanthropy will help sustain patient-focused research in search of a cure for diabetes and other diseases.
Riggs received his bachelor’s degree from University of California, Riverside, and his doctorate in biochemistry from the California Institute of Technology. He was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences in 2006 and in 2008 received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the California Institute of Technology. His wife, Jane, grew up in San Diego, and also received her bachelor’s degree from UC Riverside. She has worked as a teacher and raised their family of three children.
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About City of Hope
City of Hope is an independent biomedical research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a leader in bone marrow transplantation and immunotherapy such as CAR T cell therapy. City of Hope’s translational research and personalized treatment protocols advance care throughout the world. Human synthetic insulin and numerous breakthrough cancer drugs are based on technology developed at the institution. A National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, City of Hope is ranked one of America's "Best Hospitals" in cancer by U.S. News & World Report. Its main campus is located near Los Angeles, with additional locations throughout Southern California. For more information about City of Hope, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or Instagram.