To celebrate the endocrinology field’s rich tradition of solving medical mysteries, saving lives and the discovery of scientific breakthroughs like insulin, the Endocrine Society has established Endocrinology Month. The Society is commemorating the first-ever Endocrinology Month in April 2016, during its Centennial year. It will be a recurring celebration every April going forward.
Endocrinology Month kicked off this weekend at ENDO 2016.
“Although millions of people around the globe are coping with conditions caused by hormonal disturbances, they often don’t realize that hormones are the underlying cause of their illnesses,” said Endocrine Society President Lisa H. Fish, MD. “Hormonal problems are key in diabetes, infertility, thyroid disorders, growth problems, osteoporosis, and breast and prostate cancers. Endocrinologists play an essential role in studying and treating all of these diseases. They are often the specialists other physicians turn to when they are confused by a patient’s symptoms.”
Endocrinologists have a long history of solving mysteries. Type 1 diabetes was considered a death sentence until Frederick Banting and Charles Best extracted insulin from dogs’ pancreas cells in 1921. This discovery – among the most significant in medical history – paved the way for the commercial production of insulin to treat diabetes.
Today, endocrinologists are searching for ways to turn diabetes from a chronic condition into a curable one. Scientists are building medical devices designed to do the job of a healthy pancreas, and researchers are studying ways to develop human pancreatic beta cells from types of stem cells.
Society leaders will be traveling to Capitol Hill April 28 to educate Members of Congress about endocrinology and the field’s role in keeping people healthy and discovering medical breakthroughs.
“Today’s endocrinologists face serious challenges that threaten important contributions to public health and biomedical research,” said Endocrine Society CEO Barbara Byrd Keenan, FASAE, CAE. “The number of people specializing in endocrinology is shrinking, even as more people are being diagnosed with hormone disorders such as diabetes. We need better policies to ensure there is adequate funding for endocrine research and to encourage new generations of promising young scientists and physicians to become endocrinologists and join this renowned field.”
For more information on Endocrinology Month and the Society’s centennial, visit http://escentennial.org. To join the discussion on social media, use the hashtag #Endo100.