Meet the Speakers

Update on Diabetes XL

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Course Director, Issam E. Cheikh, MD

Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Director of  The Diabetes & Endocrine Center; MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine

After completing residency training in internal medicine at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital, Dr. Cheikh completed his fellowship in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at the University of Maryland. He founded the Division of Endocrinology at MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and developed the endocrinology fellowship training program along with one of the largest diabetes and endocrine practices in the region. Dr. Cheikh has directed the longest running annual diabetes symposium of its kind since 1976, and has gained numerous awards for teaching and service.

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Malek Cheikh, MD

Faculty, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital

Dr. Cheikh completed both his residency training and his fellowship training in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. He is board certified in both internal medicine and endocrinology. In addition to his interest in caring for individuals with diabetes, he has a special interest in osteoporosis and metabolic bone diseases and is a certified clinical densitometrist by the International Society for Clinical Densitometry.

Ralph A. DeFronzo, MD

Deputy Director,Texas Diabetes Institute Clinical Professor of Medicine /Chief of Diabetes Division UT Health Science Center at San Antonio South Texas Veterans Health Care System

Dr. DeFronzo is a graduate of Yale University, Dartmouth Medical School, Boston College Graduate School of Biology and Harvard Medical School , and fellowships at the Gerontology Research Center in Baltimore and at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology. A member of numerous professional associations, he is on the Editorial Board of “Diabetes and Vascular Disease Research”. He has received over 25 awards and honors and has been involved with over 700 original articles in professional journals.

Dana H. Frank, MD

Chair, Department of Medicine, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. Dana Frank completed his residency training followed by a Kaiser fellowship in general internal medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He joined the Park Medical Group serving as its President for over 20 years before joining MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital as Chair of Medicine in 2009. In 2013 he was named Chair of Medicine at MedStar Union Memorial while continuing on as Chair at MedStar Good Samaritan Hospital. He currently serves on the board of the MedStar Health Research Institute.

 

Laurence Hirsch, MD

Vice President, Global Medical Affairs for the Diabetes Care Business Unit at Becton Dickinson

Dr. Hirsch spent nearly 18 years with Merck, where he oversaw clinical outcome studies with lovastatin, simvastatin and alendronate. He is a graduate of the University of Rochester and Harvard Medical School, and is board certified in Internal Medicine and in Endocrinology & Metabolism. He has lived a very active life with type 1 diabetes, taking insulin for 59 years. He is a recipient of the Joslin Clinic’s 50-years Medal and participates in the Medalist study. He is a peer reviewer for multiple journals and has been involved with over 50 publications.

Rani Kulkarni, MD

Faculty, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital and MedStar Harbor Hospital

Dr. Kulkarni is an endocrinologist at both MedStar Harbor Hospital and MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. She is board certified and fellowship-trained in endocrinology. She specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes, thyroid conditions and a variety of endocrine disorders. Dr. Kulkarni focuses on preventive treatments that lead to fewer complications during care.

Michelle Magee, MD

Director, MedStar Diabetes Institute
Associate Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine

Dr. Magee has been the Director of the MedStar Diabetes Institute for more than 17 years. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College, the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Georgetown University and is board certified in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology & Metabolism. She is a member of multiple professional associations and committees as well as advisory boards and writing groups. Dr. Magee’s research with MedStar Diabetes Institute to improve delivery of diabetes self-management education has been published in several professional journals.

Michael Polydefkis, MD, MHS

Director, Bayview EMG Laboratory, Johns Hopkins
Director, Cutaneous Nerve Laboratory, Johns Hopkins
Director, Diabetic Neuropathy Center, Johns Hopkins
Professor, Department of Neurology Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Dr. Polydefkis is a graduate of Brown University, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University. He has extensive research and publications regarding many areas of neurology, including a large body of work with diabetic neuropathy. He has spoken at numerous local and national meetings and grand rounds. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Paul Sack, MD

Assistant Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Co-director, Thyroid Clinic, MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine University of Maryland School of Medicine

Dr. Sack received his medical degree from University of Maryland, where he also completed his residency training in internal medicine and fellowship training in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism. In addition to caring for people with diabetes, he has a special interest in the disorders of the thyroid gland. Dr. Sack holds special certifications in thyroid sonography, fine needle aspiration biopsy and radioactive iodine treatments.

Alejandro Santos Leal, MD

Fellow, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism MedStar Union Memorial Hospital

Alejandro Santos Leal, MD is the second year Endocrine Fellow at the MedStar Union Memorial Hospital Diabetes and Endocrine Center. Prior to the fellowship he worked as a primary care physician in Maryland and Chicago. He graduated from Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon School of Medicine in Mexico. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Obesity Medicine.

Mansur Shomali, MD, CM

Faculty, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism MedStar Union Memorial Hospital
Medical Director, WellDoc, Inc.
Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Dr. Shomali studied biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins and received his medical degree from McGill University. He completed his internal medicine training at The University of Maryland and his fellowship training in endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism at The Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. In addition to clinical research focusing on novel diabetes treatments, Dr. Shomali, at WellDoc, has been helping to develop mobile health technologies to assist individuals with diabetes and their medical providers.

Gretchen Youssef, RD, CDE

Program Director of the MedStar Diabetes Institute
Principal Investigator of the KNOW Study

Gretchen Youssef has been the Program Director of the MedStar Diabetes Institute for 17 years and program manager of the Diabetes Prevention Program for 6 years prior to that. A graduate of the Pennsylvania State University dietetics program, she fulfilled her dietetic internship at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta and earned a Master of Science in Health Promotion Management from Marymount University. She has been involved in numerous research endeavors with publications of the work. She has served in several positions with the American Diabetes Association.

 

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