School of medicine

School Notes: School of Medicine
March/April 2023

Nancy J. Brown |

FDA approves diabetes drug

On November 17, the FDA approved teplizumab, the first drug with the ability to change the course of type 1 diabetes, or any autoimmune disease. Yale School of Medicine played a crucial role in the drug’s trials, most of which were led by Kevan Herold, C. N. H. Long Professor of Immunobiology and of Medicine (endocrinology). Type 1 diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases of childhood, impacting between one in 300 to one in 600 school-aged children. It’s a lifelong condition that requires constant diet management and insulin therapy. The availability of teplizumab for at-risk patients might help delay the onset of the disease. Herold is excited about the valuable, disease-free years the drug can offer. And he believes that this drug is simply “the foot in the door.” As researchers continue to study the drug and make modifications, he hopes patients will see even better results.

New chair of pharmacology

Mark A. Lemmon ’93PhD, Alfred Gilman Professor of Pharmacology, deputy director of Yale Cancer Center, and codirector of the Yale Cancer Biology Institute, has been named chair of Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology, effective July 1. Lemmon’s interdisciplinary research has contributed substantially to understanding how the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signals at structural and mechanistic levels. Most recently, his lab’s work has focused on understanding how differential activation of the growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase can promote different cell fates, underscoring the importance of signaling dynamics in defining cell fate and disease. As chair, Lemmon will actively promote diversity within the department and will build upon its current strong foundation by recruiting faculty with expertise in neuroscience, cardiovascular pharmacology, metabolism, immunology, systems pharmacology, computational studies, and chemical biology. He will seek to link the department with clinical activities and to foster connections with other initiatives across Yale. 

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