Auburn’s Boshell Diabetes Research Day features top scientists, former Miss America

AUBURN – Auburn University will welcome top diabetes researchers as well as a former Miss America when it hosts the second annual Boshell Diabetes Research Day on March 6 at The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center.

“We will cover the latest research related to diabetes and the role of obesity in its development,” said Robert Judd, the Boshell Chair in Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases in Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine. “We also are pleased to have Miss America 1999 Nicole Johnson presenting a talk about diabetes awareness.”

Vanderbilt University professor Alan Cherrington, the school’s Jacquelyn A. Turner and Dr. Dorothy J. Turner Chair in Diabetes Research, will give the keynote address, “New Concepts in Insulin Action In Vivo,” at 10 a.m. Ruth Harris, professor of nutrition and food science at the University of Georgia, will present the plenary lecture titled “Can Leptin Make You Fat?” at 1 p.m.

Former Miss America Johnson will have a book signing at 5:30 p.m. and will speak on “Living with Diabetes” during a banquet dinner at 7 p.m. Johnson, who has master’s degrees in journalism and public health, is an internationally known diabetes awareness advocate. Banquet tickets are $25 per person and $200 for a table of 10 and are available by visiting the conference Web site ( or by calling Debbie Allgood at (334) 844-4427.  The deadline for purchasing tickets is March 2; seating is limited.

Twenty-eight Auburn faculty are part of Auburn’s Boshell Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Research Program. The program was established by the Diabetes Trust Fund in 2003 to honor the late Buris R. Boshell, a 1947 Auburn agriculture graduate who attended the veterinary college for two years before transferring to Harvard Medical School. Boshell served on the faculty of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center and was instrumental in establishing its Diabetes Research and Education Hospital. He also built the Boshell Diabetes and Endocrine Center in Birmingham.

At Auburn, funds generated by the Boshell endowment enhance the university’s research efforts to improve the lives of people as well as pets, which are also susceptible to diabetes, through investigation into the causes and treatment of diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

Diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin or cannot properly utilize it. This makes it difficult for blood sugar to enter the body’s cells, and, if left untreated, it can lead to blindness, kidney failure, stroke, amputations and the increased risk of cardiovascular disease. It is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

More information about the Boshell Diabetes Research Day is available at the conference Web site ( or by contacting Robert Judd at 844-5416 or

(Written by Charles Martin.)

Contact: Robert Judd, (334) 844-5416 (, or
Charles Martin, (334) 844-9999 (