Daniel J. Drucker

Mount Sinai Hospital


Primary Section: 42, Medical Physiology and Metabolism
Membership Type: International Member (elected 2021)

Biosketch

Dr. Daniel Drucker graduated in Medicine from the University of Toronto and carried out medical and postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the University of Toronto and Massachusetts General Hospital. Drucker has made fundamental discoveries, first demonstrating that glucagon-like peptides, including multiple truncated forms of bioactive GLP-1, are liberated from proglucagon. His studies identified the first direct actions of GLP-1, demonstrating that GLP-1 activates cAMP, induces insulin gene expression, and stimulates glucose-dependent insulin secretion. Drucker has identified multiple new physiological and pharmacological mechanisms of GLP-1 action, while characterizing the safety of GLP-1R agonists now utilized therapeutically for type 2 diabetes and obesity. His interrogation of DPP4 action revealed multiple new mechanisms of and substrates for DPP4 action, supporting the development of DPP4 inhibitors for the treatment of diabetes. He discovered the first biological actions of GLP-2 as a promoter of nutrient absorption, gut mucosal integrity, and crypt proliferation. Teduglutide, a DPP4 resistant analogue discovered in the Drucker lab, represents the first chronic therapy approved for short bowel syndrome. Drucker has served as the Division Head of Endocrinology at the University of Toronto, the Director of the Banting and Best Diabetes Centre, and has been elected to fellowship in the Royal Society.

Research Interests

Dr. Drucker is a clinician scientist and endocrinologist at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto. Drucker has a long-standing interest in understanding the pathophysiology of endocrine disorders, seeking to identify potential new mechanisms of action that inform pathways of therapeutic interest. His work has focused primarily on the proglucagon-derived peptides, such as Glucagon, GLP-1 and GLP-2, and the structurally related gut peptide, glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP). The biological activity of these hormones is modulated by dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP4), another focus of investigation in the Drucker lab. His discoveries of novel mechanisms of GLP-1, GLP-2, and DPP4 action have led to several dozen issued patents and multiple license agreements, enabling successful drug development programs. Dr. Drucker has also participated in investigator-initiated clinical trials, and led the DURATION-1 study leading to the first approval of a once weekly drug for type 2 diabetes. The Drucker laboratory uses molecular and cellular biology, physiology, and mouse genetics, to interrogate how peptide hormones and their receptors control energy homeostasis. These studies have transformed the therapy of type 2 diabetes, obesity and intestinal failure, and hold great promise for the treatment of related chronic inflammatory metabolic disorders.

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