Diabetes & You at the Salk Research Institute


Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 9 am – 11 am

Salk Institute for Biological Studies

Conrad T. Prebys Auditorium

10010 N Torrey Pines Rd,  La Jolla, CA 92037

San Diego Unified STEAM Leadership Series and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies Present:

 “Diabetes & You”

SAN DIEGO – On Tuesday, December 10th, the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the San Diego Unified STEAM Leadership Series will host a special event “Diabetes & You,” around the alarming rise of diabetes among teenagers.  Dr. Anila Madiraju, innovator, explorer, and scientist in the laboratory of Dr. Marc Montminy at Salk, will keynote along with former NBA star center, Chris Dudley, a graduate of Torrey Pines High School.  They will be followed by a panel consisting of David Winkler, co-founder of the Diabetes Research Connection; celebrity chef Rob Ruiz; metabolic disease expert David Clayton, M.D; and Efren Aguilar, health educator from Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute.  More than 300 juniors from six San Diego High schools will be welcomed as part of the 19th event in the successful 5-year STEAM Leadership series, a program of Intellectual Capital through The Samuel Lawrence Foundation. The event includes funding by the Diabetes Research Connection, and lead sponsor The San Diego Foundation.

The panel will answer questions from the audience and share their experiences both over-coming diabetes, and explaining how the disease – both Type 1 and Type 2 –may be combatted or prevented. 

Meet The Panel

Dr. Anila Madiraju


Research Associate

Anila Kanchan Madiraju earned her Ph.D. in Cellular & Molecular Physiology from Yale University, where she studied the role of redox and mitochondrial energetics in whole body physiology and metabolism. As a part of her thesis work in the lab of Dr. Gerald I. Shulman, she investigated the mechanism of the widely used diabetes drug metformin. Additionally, she discovered signaling mechanisms that integrate ureagenesis and amino acid catabolism with glucose metabolism and energy homeostasis in the liver. In January 2015, she joined the Montminy lab where she currently studies signal transduction pathways involved in adipocyte differentiation, and is continuing her work on amino acid metabolism and ureagenesis. Outside of the lab, Anila is an active member of the Society for Research Fellows at the Salk Institute, and is a community science educator. She was named the 2016 Jonas Salk Fellow.



NBA Star

Chris Dudley was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 16 while living in San Diego.  He was a sophomore in high school and was diagnosed soon after basketball season was over. Chris was devastated and one of his biggest fears was not being able to play the sport he loved–basketball. Thanks to a supportive health care team, Chris was not only able to play basketball again but went to the pinnacle of the sport and played in the NBA. Chris played with diabetes for 16 years while many players only last in the league for a few years due to the intense competition to make an NBA  squad.



Diabetes Research Connection

“Several of my family members have or had diabetes. I have lived with T1D for over 50 years. I am committed to ensuring that the Diabetes Research Connection becomes one of the most significant forces funding innovative diabetes research that will rid the planet of this disease and its complications.”



The Land & Water Co.

An outspoken advocate for responsibly sourced and traceable seafood, Oceanside, California, native Rob Ruiz spent a decade honing his craft in Hawaii, where he worked with the James Beard award-winning Chef Alan Wong before earning an apprenticeship under Japanese sushi master Chef Etsuji Umezu. By 2014, Ruiz was back in San Diego and opening his first restaurant, The Land and Water Co. The menu is hyper-local with ethically raised ingredients, and it has earned Ruiz his first critical notices. Since returning to San Diego, Ruiz has also focused on the culinary community’s role in saving the endangered vaquita porpoise. The San Diego Tribune named Ruiz “Chef of the Year” in 2016 for his uncompromising commitment to quality, sustainability, and innovation.Ruiz recently received global recognition for his dedication to improving fishing and seafood industry practices at the inaugural Ocean Awards in London, presented by the Blue Marine Foundation, Boat International Media, and Yacht Carbon Offset. Ruiz was the 2016 Ocean Award winner in the “Chef/Restaurateur” category for having the most outstanding commitment to ocean conservation and his ongoing mission to raise awareness and promote the consumption of environmentally friendly seafood.



Expert in Exercise for Diabetes and “Metabolic Disease”

Dr. David Clayton is an internal medicine doctor and healthcare entrepreneur tackling the problem of chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. He pioneered San Diego’s first chronic disease program based on the popular CrossFit workout, and is now working to create an online behavior change program for first-line treatment of diabetes. Dr. Clayton trained at Scripps Clinic and his company is based in San Diego, California.


According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 30 million Americans have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and 90% to 95% of them have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes most often develops in people over age 45, but more and more children, teens, and young adults are now developing it.   Latin youths now have the fastest growing rates of diabetes (

The STEAM Leadership Series bridges the science, education and high-tech business communities along career pathways that inspire young people to live their dreams and explore great careers and jobs in Smart City San Diego, adding value and impact to educational experiences. The STEAM Leadership Series is a program of Intellectual Capital through the Samuel Lawrence Foundation, which promotes education, science and the arts (DONATIONS MATCHED BY PATAGONIA UNTIL DECEMBER 31 ) Support for this event includes lead sponsor The San Diego Foundation, as well as the Diabetes Research Connection, the Moxie Foundation, KEC, and others, in partnership with the San Diego Unified School District.