Dr. Mladen Vranic, a leading scientist and advocate for the advancement of diabetes research, and teacher of innumerable renowned scientists and academic leaders, helped millions of diabetic patients all over the world with his remarkable work before he passed away on June 18, 2019.
Born in Croatia in 1930, Dr. Mladen Vranic was the last scientist recruited by Dr. Charles H. Best (who co-discovered insulin) to be his final post-doctoral fellow. While he made several ground-breaking advances in diabetes research, Dr. Vranic’s first major scientific contribution was the development of a precise tracer method that in combination with glucose clamps, measures precisely steady and non-steady state glucose turnover.
“Mladen made a major and lasting impact in the field of diabetes and also in our efforts at Zucara to help people with diabetes struggling with the effects of low blood sugar,” said Michael Midmer, Chief Executive Officer for Zucara Therapeutics. “I really enjoyed spending time with him and hearing his many stories of a truly eventful life that went beyond his many accomplishments as a scientist. He will be missed.”
Zucara’s technology to prevent hypoglycemia in people with diabetes is based on early research by the renowned University of Toronto professor. Dr. Vranic and his research team including Dr. Michael Riddell (Chair, Clinical Advisory Board, Zucara), and Dr. David Coy, developed compelling evidence that pancreatic alpha cells that play a key role in regulating hypoglycemia via glucagon production, are impaired in Type 1 diabetes. The technology was further developed and advanced at York University and CDRD, and subsequently commercialized by CDRD and MaRS Innovation.
We will forever be grateful for Dr. Mladen Vranic’s dedication and commitment to research in efforts to finding treatments for people with diabetes.