An MD course in Diabetology will soon be started at Tamil Nadu Dr. MGR Medical University, its Vice Chancellor Mayilvahanan Natarajan has said.

Speaking at a function organised by Dr. Mohan's Diabetes Specialities Centre (DMDSC) and Madras Diabetes Research Foundation to honour experts in the field of diabetes, Dr. Mayilvahanan said it was the age of sub-specialisation. In order to encourage young doctors to take up such super specialities, the varsity is now offering four fellowships in very specialised areas of medicine and surgery.

He recalled how his professor V. Seshiah introduced the postgraduate diploma course in Diabetology at the Madras Medical College that enabled the popularisation of the speciality.

Earlier, Dr. Mayilvahanan honoured Prof. Seshiah, currently Chairman, Dr. V. Seshiah Diabetes Research Institute, and two other senior diabetologists in the country, B.K. Sahay, senior consultant physician, Sahay Diabetic Clinic and Research Centre, Hyderabad, and C. Munichoodappa, chief diabetologist, The Bangalore Hospital, Bangalore.

These seniors received the lifetime achievement award for their contributions to the speciality.

The occasion also doubled up as a felicitation function for Allan Vaag, chief physician, Steno Diabetes Centre, who was conferred with the 17th DMDSC Gold Medal Oration and distinguished scientist award. Prof. Vaag later spoke on the subject ‘Origin of Type 2 Diabetes in a Global and Inter-generational perspective.' He stressed the role of nutrition in the intra uterine period as having a definite impact on diabetes.

The Steno Centre's latest research in the area of genetics and gene interactions with the environment formed part of his presentation.

V. Mohan, chairman, DMDSC, said the Lifetime Achievement Award had been established to honour outstanding personalities for their contributions, whether in research, leadership or mentorship that has had a lasting impact on the advancement of diabetology in India.

He added that Prof. Vaag had been chosen for his contribution to the field of diabetes, particularly his work on the pathophysiology of Type 2 Diabetes. He was among the first to describe the early defects of both insulin action and defective insulin secretion in pre-diabetic subjects.

Ranjit Unnikrishnan, director, DMDSC, made a presentation on the work being done by the Centre.