Diabetes Center Names New Director

Jed FriedmanOKLAHOMA CITY -- The University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center has announced Jacob E. “Jed” Friedman, Ph.D., as Director, Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, and Associate Vice Provost for Diabetes Programs.

Dr. Friedman comes to the Diabetes Center from the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where he served as the Director of the Colorado Program in Nutrition and Healthy Development and Director of the NIH Nutrition and Obesity Research Center laboratories for cellular and molecular metabolism. Dr. Friedman was also a professor in Pediatrics, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, and Medicine.

“We are enthusiastic that Dr. Friedman will grow the national and international research stature of the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center, competing for sponsored funding, and recruiting and mentoring talented researchers,” said Jason Sanders, M.D., MBA, Senior Vice President and Provost, OUHSC, and Vice Chair, OU Health. “He brings a clear vision for changing the course of diabetes prevention and treatment.”

Dr. Friedman has earned numerous NIH and industry funding awards, as well as a Gates Grand Challenge grant. He has more than 134 peer-reviewed articles to his credit, selected for publication in a number of prestigious journals, including the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature Communications and Diabetes. 

With a 25-year history of basic and interdisciplinary translational research accomplishments in the biochemistry of diabetes and obesity, Dr. Friedman is a leader in the field of gestational diabetes. He has established a national and international reputation in the cellular and molecular aspects of nutritional metabolism and insulin action in human and animal models of diabetes. Dr. Friedman has led teams of researchers, working in both basic and translational research areas. He is the lead investigator on numerous multi-Principal Investigator team science grants, and is involved with several clinical trials based on his basic science work. Dr. Friedman is recognized as an outstanding mentor, having mentored more than 54 graduate students, post-doctoral students and fellows, including nine current faculty members at the University of Colorado, many of whom work with him on team science grants. Dr. Friedman was awarded the 2014 American Diabetes Association Norbert Freinkel Award, the highest award given for lifetime achievement in advancing the science and clinical care for diabetes in pregnancy. 

Dr. Friedman’s vision for the Harold Hamm Diabetes Center is a focus on the emerging science of the developmental origins of diabetes and obesity identified in the first 1,000 days of life. Research has established that a variety of adverse events in early developmental phases lead to life-long metabolic problems. Dr. Friedman’s research will involve studies on metabolism, mitochondrial malfunction, microbiome and epigenetics, and he will advance clinical and translational research in women with gestational diabetes and their infants to halt the growing trend for obesity and diabetes in the next generation.