By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
One of the largest prizes available for scientific research on diabetes has been established by former Enid businessman Harold Hamm and the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma.
Hamm is chairman and chief executive officer of Continental Resources, which was started in Enid. Hamm has moved company headquarters to Oklahoma City.
The $250,000 Harold Hamm International Prize for Biomedical Research in Diabetes was announced in Philadelphia by Hamm and David Boren, president of the University of Oklahoma, just prior to the opening of the American Diabetes Associa-tion’s 72nd Scientific Sessions.
The goal is to stimulate research to find a cure for diabetes.
“My hope is that by launching this major new international research prize, we will light a worldwide fire of scientific innovation toward finding a cure for diabetes within this generation,” Hamm said. “I’m excited to be part of this next chapter in the fight against diabetes and to see the outstanding new research the prize search will encourage and recognize.”
The Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma is a comprehensive center of excellence integrating novel research, world-class patient care and large-scale prevention programs. The center is located in Oklahoma City.
Officials expect to announce the winner of the award next spring.
Both Hamm and Boren have Type 2 diabetes, and are passionate about diabetes research and care.
“We can no longer ignore the growing global epidemic that is having a devastating impact on young and old alike, and costing health systems worldwide billions of dollars each year,” Boren said. “At the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, we are on a mission to find a cure for diabetes and provide those suffering from the disease with dramatically improved clinical care. Our doctors are dedicated and focused on this mission, and the establishment of the Harold Hamm International Prize for Biomedical Research in Diabetes will help us extend our reach to support and recognize others who share our passion. I would like to thank Harold Hamm, whose generosity and personal commitment to improving the lives of those with diabetes has led to the establishment of this important prize.”
The Harold Hamm International Prize will be awarded biennially to a laureate selected by a rotating jury of national and international leaders in the field of diabetes.
The winners will be selected solely on the basis of scientific merit, recognizing scientific breakthroughs in the field of diabetes, with special emphasis on progress toward a cure. Individual researchers, teams of researchers and research institutions are eligible for nomination by the jury.
According to the International Diabetes Foundation, there were 366 million people worldwide with diabetes in 2011. By 2030, that number is projected to grow to 552 million.
Oklahoma ranks in the top four in the nation in diabetes prevalence.
According to Oklahoma State Department of Health, 304,500 adult Oklahomans have been diagnosed with diabetes and another 124,400 have the disease but have not been diagnosed. OSDH estimates diabetes costs the state more than $3 billion a year.
To learn more about the prize, go to www.HaroldHammPrize.org.