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Gerald Reaven

1928 - 2018
Gerald Reaven Obituary
Dr. Gerald M. Reaven, MD

July 28, 1928 - February 12, 2018

Gerald (Jerry) Mark Reaven, MD of Stanford, CA passed away peacefully on Monday, February 12, 2018, after a short illness.

Often referred to as the "Father of Insulin Resistance," Dr. Gerald Reaven is credited with establishing the importance of insulin resistance in human disease, especially Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. A central theme underlying much of his work was that many medical conditions that increase risk for heart disease—such as high triglycerides, high blood pressure, and elevated blood sugar—have a common cause in decreased insulin action (insulin resistance). He named this constellation of conditions "Syndrome X," but its clinical manifestation is most commonly recognized as the Metabolic Syndrome.

Dr. Reaven was a prolific and rigorous researcher. He mentored countless young scientists, resulting in over 800 peer-reviewed papers in collaboration with over 500 investigators. His work revolutionized medicine, opening broad avenues of investigation that continue to bear fruit today. Dr. Reaven's achievements were recognized with numerous prestigious awards, including the William S. Middleton Award from the Veterans Administration, the Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement from the American Diabetes Association, and the Banting Memorial Lecture from the British Diabetes Association.

Dr. Reaven was born in Gary, Indiana, on 28 July, 1928, raised in East Chicago, Indiana, but spent formative years living in Cleveland, Ohio, thus accounting for his lifelong affection/frustration for the Cleveland Indians baseball team. Dr. Reaven completed his undergraduate and medical school training at the University of Chicago—then led by Robert M. Hutchins—receiving an education that influenced his thinking for the rest of his life. He did residency training at the University of Michigan, and joined the Stanford University Medical School faculty in the early 1960s. He worked in the Department of Medicine at Stanford University until the end of 2017. He is survived by his wife, fellow scientist Eve Reaven, Stanford CA; daughters Marci and Nancy Reaven, and son Peter Reaven; and their respective families in New York, Los Angeles and Scottsdale.

A memorial educational fund has been established in Dr. Reaven's name to support young scientific investigators. Donations can be made to the Gerald M. Reaven Memorial Research Fund at https://makeagift.stanford.edu, or make a check payable to "Stanford University" and send to: Stanford University Development Services, P.O. Box 20466, Stanford, CA 94309-0466. Please note online or on the memo line of the check: "In Memory of Dr. Gerald Reaven."

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Feb. 18, 2018
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