Sanford-Burnham News Archive

Florida Hospital and Sanford-Burnham Welcome Diabetes and Obesity Expert Dr. Richard E. Pratley

ORLANDO, Fla. , April 4, 2011

Florida Hospital and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona are pleased to welcome diabetes and obesity expert Dr. Richard E. Pratley, who will have senior roles with both organizations. At Florida Hospital, Dr. Pratley has been appointed Medical Director of the Florida Hospital Diabetes Institute (FHDI), the largest endocrine practice in Central Florida, as well as Senior Faculty at the Florida Hospital - Sanford-Burnham Translational Research Institute for Metabolism and Diabetes (TRI). Additionally, he will serve as a professor and faculty member at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute at Lake Nona.

Central Florida has seen rapid growth in the number of patients diagnosed with diabetes over the past 30 years.  As a leader in diabetes and obesity research, Dr. Pratley has conducted a large number of studies on obesity, diabetes, metabolism and the effects of exercise and weight loss on energy metabolism and insulin sensitivity. 

“Recruitment of Dr. Pratley, an internationally recognized physician scientist in the area of diabetes and metabolism, enhances our progress towards a growing research base in translational research at the TRI,” said Dr. Steven Smith, scientific director at the TRI. “His expertise will accelerate moving discoveries from the basic science bench to patients with metabolic diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease at Florida Hospital.”

Dr. Pratley is a graduate of Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan, and trained in internal medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He did further training in geriatrics and gerontology at the University of Michigan; Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland; and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute on Aging in Baltimore, Maryland. He subsequently served as Head of the Diabetes and Metabolism Unit of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Diabetes and Nutrition Section in Phoenix, Arizona, before taking a position as Senior Director in the Cardiovascular and Metabolism Therapeutic Area at Novartis Pharmaceuticals where he worked on the clinical development of new drugs for diabetes until 2004. From 2004-2011, Dr. Pratley was Professor of Medicine, University of Vermont College of Medicine and Director of the Diabetes and Metabolism Translational Medicine Unit. There he led many large-scale investigations, including NIH and pharmaceutical company sponsored studies. His current research interests include the prevention of diabetes, improving the care for persons with diabetes, developing new drugs to treat and prevent diabetes and its complications and understanding the role of the fat cell in increasing the risk for diabetes and heart disease.

“We are very excited about the addition of Dr. Pratley as Central Florida moves to becoming a medical destination,” said Dr. David Moorhead, chief medical officer at Florida Hospital. “Together, Florida Hospital and Sanford-Burnham will advance diabetes knowledge and enhance the treatment of patients with diabetes in Central Florida and beyond.”

Dr. Pratley is a member of the American Diabetes Association, the European Associations for the Study of Diabetes and The Obesity Society. He is a recipient of the Henry Christian Award for Excellence in Clinical Research from the American Federation for Clinical Research Foundation.  He regularly presents at national and international meetings, has written over 150 peer-reviewed articles and is a Principal Investigator for both NIH and pharmaceutical company sponsored trials in diabetes and obesity. He is on the editorial boards of Diabetes Care and Current Diabetes Reports and acts as an ad hoc reviewer for many journals, including the American Journal of Cardiology and Diabetes.

About Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is dedicated to discovering the fundamental molecular causes of disease and devising the innovative therapies of tomorrow. Sanford-Burnham takes a collaborative approach to medical research with major programs in cancer, neurodegeneration and stem cells, diabetes, and infectious, inflammatory, and childhood diseases. The Institute is recognized for its National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center and expertise in drug discovery technologies. Sanford-Burnham is a nonprofit, independent institute that employs more than 1,000 scientists and staff in San Diego (La Jolla), Calif., and Orlando (Lake Nona), Fla. For more information, visit us at

Sanford-Burnham can also be found on Facebook at and on Twitter @sanfordburnham.

News & News and Press - Sanford-Burnham Boilerplate
Sign In Skip Navigation Links Skip navigation links
News Archive
Sanford-Burnham In The News
Media Contacts and Guidelines
News Search
Paper of the Week
Quarterly Science Highlights
Multimedia Resources