Dr. Alan Permutt, MD, who overcame diabetes as a teenager to become an internationally known scientist and physician at Washington University, has died.
Dr. Alan Permutt, who died Monday at age 72, was a physician-scientist at Washington University whose dogged pursuit to find the cause of diabetes helped lead to major advances in the fight against the disease.
He was one of the world’s leading diabetes researchers and discovered the genetic cause of a deadly form of diabetes called Wolfram syndrome.
Scientists hope that medications used to treat this rare form of diabetes eventually may help control the more common forms of the disease.
About 25 million children and adults in the U.S. — more than 8 percent of the population — are estimated to have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Dr. Permutt had an advantage shared by few other diabetes researchers: He was highly motivated because he had the disease he was trying to cure.
Dr. Marshall Alan Permutt died June 11, 2012, at his home in Clayton. He was diagnosed in 2007 with kidney cancer that later spread to his lungs, his family said Tuesday.
He had been insulin-dependent for more than 56 years.