Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at The University of Oklahoma Awards First
International Research Prize in Diabetes
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oct. 28, 2013
OKLAHOMA CITY, Oct. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Imagine how different the lives
of so many would be if diabetes were cured and the billions of dollars in
annual health care costs that could be saved.
Finding that cure was the impetus for establishing the $250,000 Harold Hamm
International Prize for Biomedical Research in Diabetes, awarded for the first
time today by the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma.
The inaugural recipient, Dr. Peter H. Bennett, is an internationally renowned
scientist whose unparalleled achievements in the field of diabetes research
continue to be the foundation for much of what is known today about the
disease. His work continues to inspire still more groundbreaking research
across the globe that moves the world of medicine ever closer to a cure.
"My hope in launching this unprecedented international research prize is that
we would ignite worldwide scientific interest and innovation to find a cure
for diabetes in this generation," said Harold Hamm, chairman and CEO of
Continental Resources, Inc., who recently provided the endowment to establish
the prize, following his generous lead gift in 2007 for the establishment of
the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center. "Dr. Bennett's work has long inspired others
to follow in his footsteps and move the world closer and closer to a cure.
Over the past fifty years, he has continuously made major scientific
contributions to the understanding of diabetes, its mechanisms, complications
and prevention. The cure for diabetes will be built on the shoulders of giants
like Dr. Bennett, so it is fitting that we honor him with the inaugural Hamm
Hamm's endowment of the prize provides for its awarding in the future in
perpetuity. This endowment represents a unique private/public partnership of
using philanthropic dollars as a catalyst for desperately needed medical
advances, which is particularly impactful in our current environment marked by
declining federal funding for medical research.
"I am grateful to Harold Hamm for establishing this important prize and for
the leadership and tenacity he has demonstrated by taking action to address
the diabetes health crisis," said OU President David L. Boren. "The CDC
estimates that 1 in 3 children born today will go on to develop type 2
diabetes in their lifetime. This prize is another example of the forward
momentum of the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center's efforts to curtail growing
statistics like these. Dr. Bennett was one of the first to address diabetes in
a significant way almost half a century ago, and he has been at the forefront
ever since. Without question, his work has affected how all of us today
approach the disease."
Diabetes impacts more than 360 million people worldwide – a number the
International Diabetes Federation predicts will reach 552 million by 2030.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, there are more than
300,000 adult Oklahomans diagnosed with diabetes, and almost half that number
living with undiagnosed diabetes, costing the state more than $3 billion a
While diabetes and statistics like these are well known today, little was
known about the disease when Dr. Bennett's work began. Bennett's research
resulted in the development of criteria used internationally for diagnosing
diabetes and pre-diabetes through a strong partnership with American Indians
that spanned more than four decades. He played an instrumental role in another
study that proved type 2 diabetes is preventable. In addition, he has mentored
hundreds of the leading scientists today throughout the world.
"Dr. Bennett's work is truly foundational in the world of diabetes research.
He has made huge contributions to our understanding of what diabetes is, the
genesis of its complications and how we prevent both the disease and its
complications," said Dr. Timothy Lyons, chairman of the Selection Jury.
"Certainly, one day we hope to have a real cure for diabetes, and that cure
will no doubt be as a result of the foundation Dr. Bennett's research has
Bennett was selected by a jury of international leaders in the field of
diabetes during deliberations held at the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center in
Oklahoma. The selection jury was tasked with selecting the recipient who has
had, and will continue to have, a lasting impact on the field of diabetes,
with special emphasis on progress towards a cure.
The Hamm Prize was conferred upon Bennett today in Oklahoma City by Hamm and
Boren at the Connect+Cure Gala benefitting Harold Hamm Diabetes Center. The
celebration event emceed by worldwide diabetes advocate and three-time Tony®
award winner and Emmy nominee Ben Vereen and followed by a special performance
by Alison Kraus and Union Station, featuring Jerry Douglas.
To learn more about the Hamm Prize, please visit www.HaroldHammPrize.org.
About the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center
The Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma, an OU Medicine
comprehensive center of excellence, is a world leader in research focused on
advancing progress toward a cure, providing dramatically improved patient care
to those with diabetes, and stopping the spread of diabetes through healthy
lifestyle and prevention programs. For more information, visit
SOURCE The Harold Hamm Diabetes Center at the University of Oklahoma
Contact: OU Public Affairs, (405) 325-1701, or Theresa Green, (405) 833-9824,
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.