NYMC’s New Dean of the School of Medicine: Dr. Jerry L. Nadler Takes the Helm
Jerry L. Nadler, M.D., MACP, FAHA, FACE, has officially taken the helm as the new dean of the School of Medicine and professor of medicine and pharmacology at New York Medical College.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Nadler became inspired to find a cure for diabetes when he was ten years old. That quest to advance our understanding of diabetes led him to University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine where he worked with Dr. Daniel Mintz, the founding scientific director and chief academic officer of the Diabetes Research Institute, to the University of Southern California for specialized endocrinology training in research and to the City of Hope Medical Center in Duarte, California, where he built the City of Hope’s Diabetes Program. Most recently, Dr. Nadler served as professor and chair of internal medicine, the Harry H. Mansbach Endowed Chair in Internal Medicine and vice dean of research at the Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), before seeking the opportunity at New York Medical College’s School of Medicine—the role which ultimately brought him back home to New York.
After a decade spent at the Eastern Virginia Medical School, what drew you to New York Medical College?
Long before I anticipated moving back to this area and taking on this role at the NYMC, I was very familiar with the College because of its connection to diabetes. One of my heroes, the famous physician Rachmiel Levine, M.D.—who is considered the father of modern diabetes research— chaired the Department of Medicine at NYMC. A Jewish immigrant from Poland, Dr. Levine ultimately discovered how insulin works to lower sugars in blood.
What do you hope to bring to the College?
My role, here at NYMC will be to enhance the educational mission for students and residents build research programs and to work with faculty in the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Basic Medical Sciences and the School of Health Sciences and Practice to bring together research in all different areas of the College.
How did you become interested in diabetes at such a young age?
When I was still just a boy I witnessed the devastating effects of what we would now call adult onset type-1 diabetes, the disease which ravaged my Uncle Sam who was insulin dependent. I remember him battling so many health problems—he would often pass out and struggled with vision and circulation problems related to the disease. It made an impression and got me interested in diabetes at a young age, and kept me interested through high school and college and ultimately medical school.
Do you think you will see a cure for type 1 diabetes in your lifetime?
We are on the right track at least to be able to prevent the disease from starting. Whenever my patients ask about a cure I say this: Stay as healthy as possible because a breakthrough is on the way— but we are not quite there yet.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
The professional accomplishment of which I’m proudest are those in which I have mentored future healthcare leaders, developing the next generation of physicians and researchers. In each position I've had over the course of my career, I’ve incorporated ways in which I can help people develop their careers, created programs that have helped to train the next generation of doctors and investigators that are now moving forward in leadership roles in various areas. That's what I'm really excited about doing here.
Personally, my proudest overall accomplishment is my family. Being married to my wonderful wife, Mary Ann, who is my best friend and partner with whom I will be celebrating our 40th year wedding anniversary this year; raising my two sons— my oldest son, Micah, graduated from culinary school and is working in a prominent kitchen as a sous chef; and my youngest son, Joseph, who is an internal medicine resident at the University of Washington in Seattle.
What are you doing when you are not working?
I like to be physically active—I particularly enjoy tennis. Healthy lifestyle is the best prevention for type-2 diabetes, so I try to practice what I preach!