Born:

June 26, 1956

(Montreal, Quebec)

Education:

MD, University of Toronto (1980)

Awards & Honours:

2020: The Warren Alpert Foundation Prize for Biomedical Research

2020: The Transatlantic Medal of the British Endocrine Society

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Daniel Drucker

The first to identify the biological action of the important intestinotrophic hormone GLP-2

Daniel Drucker

Revealed the potential for gut hormones to achieve dramatic clinical outcomes in the treatment of life-limiting and life-threatening metabolic and intestinal disorders

Short bowel syndrome, a disorder affecting newborns and adults recovering from major intestinal resection, has increased more than two-fold in the last 40 years, reflecting complications in babies born prematurely, and an increase in surgical interventions for severe Crohn’s disease. Dr. Drucker’s discoveries helped to develop teduglutide, a GLP-2-based medication, providing long-term therapy for the treatment of adults and children. Approximately one of every five patients on teduglutide in the real world has completely discontinued intravenous feeding, leading to remarkable improvement in quality of life. Dr. Drucker has also contributed to the development of new classes of therapeutic medications for type 2 diabetes and obesity, prescribed to more than a hundred million patients worldwide and transforming the treatment of metabolic disease. A profoundly gifted laboratory researcher, Dr. Drucker has personally translated advanced scientific discoveries into real-world clinical applications, substantially improving the lives of patients. A much-honoured clinical-scientist at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute of Mt. Sinai Hospital, and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Dr. Drucker’s laboratory studies have revolutionized the treatment of metabolic disorders and exemplify exceptional bench-to-beside translation of scientific research.

Key Facts

Elucidated the role of GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1) in insulin secretion leading to the development of patented medications for the treatment of type 2 diabetes

GLP-1 based medications facilitated weight loss and reduced the incidence of cardiovascular complications extending their application to effective treatment of obesity rivaling outcomes of bariatric surgery

Emerging evidence suggests GLP-1 acting on the brain is neuroprotective and early studies in disorders such as Parkinson’s disease show promise; Phase 3 trials in Alzheimer’s are also underway

Discovered medical application of GLP-2 in stimulating nutrient absorption leading to development of teduglutide medications providing therapeutic treatment for short bowel disease freeing many patients from reliance on intravenous feeding

Professional timeline

Impact on lives today

Short bowel syndrome affects newborns and adults recovering from intestinal resection surgery and its incidence has significantly increased. Patients who were once tethered to intravenous feeding are now often free to live improved lives due to Dr. Drucker’s discoveries, which contributed to the development of teduglutide medications. Dr. Drucker has also advanced the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and obesity with therapeutic medications revolutionizing the treatment of metabolic disease. Millions of patients worldwide suffering from metabolic illnesses have been helped by these new medications.

Daniel Drucker

2022

  • Daniel J. Drucker inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame

    Ottawa, Ontario

  • Gairdner congratulations banner

    One of a team of three to receive the Canada Gairdner International Award for the impact of their work on the field of diabetes and short bowl syndrome

  • Sits as Editor-in-Chief of “Endocrine Reviews” & on the Editorial Board for “Molecular Metabolism”

  • Conducts studies aimed at the development and testing of long-acting insulin-control medication

  • Joins the staff of the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital

  • Organizes and chairs the 2002 Endocrine Society Hot Topics Meetings on “Genomics and Proteomics in Endocrine Systems” in New Orleans

  • Discovery of GLP-2

    Daniel Drucker identifies the effects that GLP-2 has on small bowel proliferation in rats

    Digestion, Digestion, Diabetes

    This led to the development of two types of drugs to treat Type 2 diabetes.

  • Returns to Toronto as Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Toronto and as staff doctor

  • Begins a research fellowship to study molecular endocrinology at the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School

  • Obtains his MD from the University of Toronto

1980

Dr. Drucker’s bench to bedside endocrine science has had a huge positive impact on the lives of millions of patients with metabolic and endocrine disorders, fundamentally benefiting society and human health.