Adams named Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Chair

Photo: Christopher AdamsChristopher Adams, MD, PhD, has been named the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Chair. This position has been endowed by the Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE) to propel and accelerate the pace of discoveries in the FOE Diabetes Research Center (FOEDRC), whose mission is to advance knowledge of the mechanisms of diabetes and its related complications through cutting-edge research.

Dr. Adams is a Professor of Internal Medicine and of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Iowa. He has primarily focused on investigating the problem of skeletal muscle atrophy and its relationship with type 2 diabetes. He and his lab have identified several previously unrecognized molecular mechanisms that lead to skeletal muscle atrophy and has identified proteins that when activated could maintain healthy muscle or prevent muscle loss. His current investigations, which seek to understand the regulation and function of these pathways, may lead to novel approaches to combating muscle weakness resulting from aging and disuse. Dr. Adams has developed a novel systems-based strategy for identifying molecules that improve muscle mass and function, including several promising compounds with strong potential for pharmaceutical development.

The discoveries and advances from his laboratory led Dr. Adams to form a UI-based biotechnology company called Emmyon, Inc., which is forging strategic partnerships to advance its missions. Through Emmyon, Dr. Adams hopes to generate beneficial products for human and animal health, as well as other future avenues for research and development. Dr. Adams’s national reputation has been on a rapidly increasing trajectory, not only with publications in leading scientific journals, but also with widespread coverage of his laboratory’s discoveries appearing in The Wall Street Journal, US News and World Report, ABC News, and NBC News, among many other outlets.

In addition to his extensive and widely recognized research activities as a basic and translational scientist, Dr. Adams practices endocrinology primarily at the Iowa City VA and contributes to the training of medical students, residents, fellows, with particular focus on developing the next generation of biomedical scientists. In nominating him for this endowed chair, FOEDRC Director and Internal Medicine DEO Dr. Dale Abel said, “I consider him to be one of the most talented physician scientists within the Department of Internal Medicine. He knows how to recognize novel, important scientific questions and how to assemble the talent and innovative approaches to answer them. This chair will enable him to attract other talented investigators to the University of Iowa.”