ACTSI Trainee Receives NIH KO8 Award

Dr. Dawn Smiley-Byrd is a faculty member in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Emory University School of Medicine. The KO8 Award will help fund her work on ketosis-prone diabetes mellitus (KPDM). She investigates patients with KPDM in order to correlate their response to treatment with the mechanism(s) and markers of short- and long-term remission and to determine the optimal therapeutic approach in order to prevent future glycemic decompensation.

Patients with KPDM display clinical, metabolic, and immunogenetic features of type 2 diabetes during follow-up. These patients a) have markedly decreased insulin secretion and impaired insulin action, b) have a low prevalence of b-cell autoantibodies , and c) aggressive diabetic management results in significant improvement in b-cell function and insulin sensitivity sufficient to allow discontinuation of insulin therapy within 3 months of follow-up. Despite this initial response, ~60% of KPDM with DKA who achieve remission relapse into hyperglycemia within one year if treated with diet alone.

Dr. Smiley-Byrd, a native of Montgomery, AL, graduated from Fisk University with a BA in Biology and later received her Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She completed a combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics residency program at the University of Cincinnati and later completed an Endocrinology fellowship at Emory University. Dr. Smiley has been productive by publishing manuscripts and text chapters, including the Washington Manual Type 2 Diabetes chapter, submitting scientific abstracts, obtaining grants to fund her clinical research studies, and teaching the medical students, residents, and endocrinology fellows.