Respected endocrinologist and researcher served as associate director for six years
Thomas W. Donner, M.D., a highly respected endocrinologist and researcher, has been named medical director of the University of Maryland Joslin Diabetes Center.
Dr. Donner served as an associate director of the Joslin Diabetes Center since it opened six years ago and is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He replaces Alan R. Shuldiner, M.D., who is stepping down as director of the Joslin Center to devote more time to expanding diabetes and endocrine research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
“Tom Donner is a wonderful physician and talented researcher, and we are very fortunate that he has agreed to lead the University of Maryland Joslin Diabetes Center. I can’t think of anyone who is more qualified to take over as director,” says Dr. Shuldiner, professor and head of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
The University of Maryland Joslin Diabetes Center is the largest diabetes center in the Maryland-Delaware region, treating more than 5,000 patients each year, and is one of an elite group of centers affiliated with the internationally renowned Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. Dr. Donner says the key to the center’s success has been its “multidisciplinary approach” to patient care.
“Not only do we have a large number of physicians, we also have diabetes educators, nutritionists, podiatrists, ophthalmologists, psychologists and psychiatrists who all work together to help patients control their blood sugar levels and avoid serious diabetes-related complications involving their eyes, kidneys and cardiovascular system,” he says.
Other University of Maryland specialists, including neurologists, cardiologists and nephrologists, work with the Joslin team to provide the most advanced care for patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Researchers at the Joslin Center are also conducting studies on the genetic causes of diabetes and ways to prevent the disease and its life-threatening complications.
“Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer of patients with diabetes,” Dr. Donner says. “Diabetes remains a disease that is inadequately treated and underdiagnosed not only in Maryland but throughout the United States, and it is a condition that is becoming more prevalent, primarily because of the increase in obesity. We’re seeing Type 2 diabetes at an earlier age.”
A Baltimore native, Dr. Donner graduated from Middlebury College and the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He did his residency and fellowship training at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He has served as an associate director of the Joslin Diabetes Center since 1998 and has directed the Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Fellowship Training Program since 1999.
Board-certified in internal medicine and endocrinology, Dr. Donner has conducted research into ways to control diabetes and prevent its complications. He is co-investigator of a five-year, NIH-funded study that is looking into the most effective ways to treat early coronary artery disease in patients with Type 2 diabetes.
“We hope to determine how we can reduce the rate of heart attacks and death in high-risk patients who have diabetes and mild to moderate coronary artery disease,” he says.
Dr. Donner is a member of the American Diabetes Association and The Endocrine Society.
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