The Endocrine Society recently announced that John D. Baxter, MD, is the 2007 recipient of its highest award - the Fred Conrad Koch Award.
This award is presented annually to recognize exceptional contributions to endocrinology and includes a $25,000 honorarium. Baxter received the award at ENDO 07, the 89th Annual Meeting of the Endocrine Society, in Toronto, Canada.
A renowned leader in endocrinology, Baxter has been conducting groundbreaking research and training the world's best endocrinologists for 30 years. Among his most recognized achievements are the first cloning of several genes, including the growth hormone gene, and bacterial synthesis of several hormones, including human growth hormone.
These studies facilitated recombinant production of proteins, including human and cow growth hormone, and understanding gene expression. Baxter made fundamental contributions to understanding hormone action, and his description of defective glucocorticoid receptors in cultured cells was the first discovery of a defect in any hormone receptor causing hormone resistance. His elucidation of the X-ray structure of a thyroid hormone receptor domain provided major insights into receptor function and pharmaceutical design.
For 17 years, Baxter served as chief of clinical endocrinology at UCSF, during which time the Endocrinology division was ranked third in the nation. He also spent 19 years as director of the Metabolic Research Unit, where he founded the UCSF Diabetes Center. More than $350 million in royalties has been paid to the University of California for his laboratory's discoveries.
Baxter has trained nearly 80 students, fellows and visiting faculty; a number of these have become professors, department chairs, institute directors, division chiefs and CEOs. He has received such honors as the Outstanding Investigator Award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and election to the National Academy of Sciences. Baxter was president of the Endocrine Society from 2002 to 2003.
Founded in 1916, the Endocrine Society is the world's oldest, largest and most active organization devoted to research on hormones and the clinical practice of endocrinology. Today, the society's membership consists of more than 14,000 scientists, physicians, educators, nurses and students in more than 80 countries. Together, these members represent all basic, applied and clinical interests in endocrinology.