American Diabetes Association gives award named for Tulane researcher

July 11, 2013 9:00 AM

Arthur Nead

Dr. Vivian Fonseca

Dr. Vivian Fonseca has been recognized for his international expertise in diabetes with an award in his name. (Photo by Paula Burch-Celentano)

The American Diabetes Association has presented the first Vivian Fonseca Scholar Award. The award recognizes the contributions of Dr. Vivian Fonseca, professor of medicine at the Tulane University School of Medicine who holds the Tullis-Tulane Alumni Chair in Diabetes.

During Fonseca’s many years of volunteer service to the American Diabetes Association, he has been a mentor and role model to many researchers and clinicians. Fonseca served as the association’s 2012 president–medicine and science.

The recipient of the new award is Dr. Vijay Viswanathan, head of the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research, Education and Training in Diabetes in Tamil Nadu, India.
Diabetes researcher Dr. Sukumar Nagendran established the award in memory of his father, P. Nagendran. The award promotes and recognizes diabetes research focused on South Asian or Asian American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander populations and/or research by a scientist from South Asia or these populations. The researcher can be located anywhere in the world and can belong to any ethnic group.  

“Dr. Viswanathan was given the award for his work highlighting the association of difficult-to-treat tuberculosis in patients with diabetes in India,” Fonseca says. “This may be a big problem worldwide. At Tulane, Drs. Jiang He, Lizheng Shi, myself and others have been working on this problem with researchers in China. Some data on it has been accepted for publication but it is not yet out.”
Viswanathan, who received the award at the American Diabetes Association’s meeting in Chicago in June, is an adjunct professor at Tamil Nadu Dr. M.G.R. Medical University in Madras. He has organized five international conferences about diabetes foot care and has trained more than 2,000 physicians in preventing amputations related to diabetes, and published more than 150 articles on kidney disease and diabetes-related amputations in peer-reviewed international and national journals.

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