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Children’s Hospital Endocrinologist Elected President of Prestigious Society

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 5, 2009 – Dorothy J. Becker, MBBCh, chief of the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, has been elected president of the prestigious Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society (LWPES).

Dr. Becker is the fifth division chief from Children’s Hospital to serve as president of the society, which was formed in 1972 to represent pediatric endocrinologists in North America and advocate for their patients.

“I am proud to join a long line of endocrinologists from Children’s Hospital who have had the honor of leading the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society,” Dr. Becker said. “Children’s Hospital’s unprecedented representation on the society’s board of directors is a testament to the leadership role Children’s Hospital has played in the field of pediatric endocrinology on this continent  and internationally.”

Past presidents of the society from Children’s Hospital are: Allan L. Drash, M.D., Thomas P. Foley Jr., M.D., Peter A. Lee, M.D., and Mark A. Sperling, MBBS.

For more than three decades, Dr. Becker and her predecessors and colleagues at Children’s Hospital have played a major role in the care of children with diabetes and all types of hormone-related disorders. Children’s has one of the largest pediatric diabetes clinics in North America. The program is an international leader in both clinical care and research in many of the issues surrounding childhood diabetes and pediatric endocrine disorders.

The LWPES has over 900 members representing the multiple disciplines of Pediatric Endocrinology. The members are dedicated to research and treatment of children with endocrine disorders―reproductive, bone, thyroid, diabetes, obesity, growth, pituitary and adrenal. The Society works to promote the continuing education of its membership, with the goal of constantly striving for the best care and new knowledge in the treatment of its pediatric endocrine patients.

Dr. Becker’s clinical research into Type 1 diabetes has received continuous annual funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the last three decades. She has continued the investigations into the epidemiology and causes of diabetes initiated by Dr. Drash, a grant continuously funded for the last 35 years.

Also, in a major project funded by the NIH, Dr. Becker is the principal investigator and coordinator of six United States centers of a multinational primary prevention trial for Type I diabetes, or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. This 10-year study is designed to determine whether feeding predigested cow milk formula to babies who are bottle-fed will prevent insulin-dependent diabetes. Dr. Becker’s current and past research activities include investigating cognitive function and hypoglycemia in children with Type I diabetes, and causes and complications of and risk factors for developing Type I diabetes.

Among her many achievements, Dr. Becker has received the McEllroy Award from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Alumni Association, the Founder’s Award from the Midwest Society of Pediatric Research and the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diabetes in Youth from the American Diabetes Association. She also has been a member of the western Pennsylvania board of directors of both the American Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Association and has been invited to lecture audiences around the world.

Dr. Becker attended medical school at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. She completed her residency at Red Cross Children’s Hospital and Groote Schuur Hospital, both in Cape Town, South Africa, and she completed her fellowship in pediatric endocrinology at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh in 1976.

For more information about Dr. Becker or the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes at Children’s Hospital, please visit www.chp.edu.

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