This year ISPAD celebrated its 40th anniversary. ISPAD was founded as ISGD, the International Study Group for Diabetes (in childhood and adolescence) in 1974. Professor Zvi Laron, ISPAD (ISGD) Founding Member and Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Endocrinology at Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine was interviewed on this occasion.
How have the society’s mission and values evolved since the founding year (1974)?
ISPAD’s main mission of educating the treating personnel, the patients and their families is advancing continuously and spreading worldwide. However, unfortunately the modern means of therapy are still not available to all who need it.
What have been your most memorable ISPAD moments over the past 40 years?
The most memorable moment for me was the positive response to form a pediatric diabetes society (then ISGD) and organizing its first international scientific meeting in 1975 in Israel. It was the moment when the treatment of children with diabetes was taken from adult diabetologists, and transferred to pediatric specialists.
How would you like to see the society evolve in the future? What will be the main challenges?
For the future I have several dreams relating to the scientific activities of ISPAD:
• To be able to reduce or stop the continuously increasing incidence of childhood diabetes worldwide
• The above can be helped by encouraging and sponsoring research on its initial trigger(s) and preventive trials
• As Type I diabetes is both an endocrine and immunologic disease it would be important to find ways for close collaboration with pediatric endocrine and immunology societies
Professor Zvi Laron, ISPAD (ISGD) Founding Member and Professor Emeritus of Pediatric Endocrinology at Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine.