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UF Type 1 diabetes researchers garner top spots in worldwide database

Two University of Florida faculty have been named among the top 10 Type 1 diabetes researchers in the world by the online database Expertscape, a health care information website that allows patients to search for health care professionals by rank.

Mark Atkinson, Ph.D., a professor within the department of pathology, immunology and laboratory medicine, and Desmond Schatz, M.D., a professor in the department of pediatrics, were ranked in the top 10 of the website’s assessment of worldwide experts. In a ranked list identifying the 60 Type 1 diabetes experts, Atkinson is listed as second in the world and Schatz is listed as seventh. The database considered nearly 60,000 lower-scoring researchers across the globe. Additionally, the University of Florida was ranked as the fifth top institution for Type 1 diabetes research.

“Rather than focus on us, I hope this ranking is something the University of Florida can take pride in,” Atkinson said. “I also trust it’s something that draws attention to our diabetes program at the community, state and national level, and that people will recognize the true excellence that our diabetes team has in terms of providing clinical care, as well as the innovative nature of the research we perform.”

To rank experts, Expertscape considers the number of publications each researcher has, as well as the quality of the journal publishing each article and the number of times the article has been cited. Schatz’s ranking was based on 80 articles while Atkinson’s ranking was based on 110 articles.

“Mark Atkinson has been at the forefront in multiple areas of Type 1 diabetes research for decades, and has been an outstanding champion for team-based, collaborative research,” said Richard A. Insel, M.D., chief scientific officer with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. “His vision and leadership of the JDRF Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes, a program that has spurred or catalyzed more than 130 different projects, have been truly stellar. I am not surprised to see Mark listed so prominently in this database.”

Schatz and Atkinson have worked together for many years in Type 1 diabetes research, both having been at the university for 30 years.“We’re homegrown,” Atkinson said. “That’s another thing I think the institution can take pride in: UF provided the infrastructure to take people from their early careers all the way to this experience.”

Atkinson is currently the American Diabetes Association eminent scholar for diabetes research. Beginning in 2016, Schatz will serve as president of the ADA.

“Being on this list is testament to the national and international recognition and leadership of both the Type 1 diabetes program at UF and the individuals involved with it,” Schatz said.

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