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In memory of Jan Bruining

ISPAD notes the passing of Professor Gerbrand Jan, Mu, Bruining



    G. Jan, or as he was better known “Mu Bruining” was an innovator. He was awarded  the Rochester Regional Diabetes Award for the initiation of home care for children living with diabetes. This was extended throughout the Netherlands after his return, leading to a 14x decrease of hospital days. Already in 1978 he became a member of ISGD, now ISPAD, introduced by Allan Drash and Bruno Weber. Dorothy Becker was similarly introduced to ISGD at that meeting and by chance they were on the same tour bus to then East Germany and at Checkpoint Charlie discovered they were virtually twins.  That was the beginning of a 40-year long friendship and collaboration.

   His innovative approach to diabetes research started with his PhD in 1984  “Studies on Childhood Diabetes” including HLA, the first description of anti idiotype insulin antibodies, on incidence, islet cell antibodies and HbA1c. In 2001 he initiated studies on permanent neonatal diabetes with A.T. Hattersley, which led to the creation of ISPAD s Rare Forms of Diabetes Center at Exeter, UK.

   Not only the pathogenesis of diabetes but as well better treatment approaches captured him (home care, randomized trial on pump treatment in children as early as 1982). He was passionate about good and humane care for his patients and fought hard as their advocate.

   He was a Council Member of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) 1992 - 1995. From 1993-2001 he was Education officer for pediatric diabetes in Central Asia and has served as ISPAD‘s education officer for the former Soviet Union since 2002 together with Stuart Brink. In the 90’s he undertook several educational trips in Central Asia, most recently to Siberia. Since 2002 he was a Professor of Pediatric Diabetes at the Erasmus University Medical School, Rotterdam.

   He was a highly appreciated teacher, but as well an incredible mentor for all those from a number of countries, who had a chance to work with him. This role was particularly important for Dutch and Luxembourgish teams whom he has mentored and supported over the years.

   Never ever would you meet him without the twinkle in his eyes, and some discussion on new, and always highly creative and innovative ideas. Never even a dull moment when Mu was around!

   He will be deeply missed.

   Our thoughts are with his wife Wanda, his daughter Iris, his son Hilgo and their families.

Dorothy Becker, Carine de Beaufort

Henk Veeze and Henk-Jan Aanstoot



Professor Bruining receiving the ISPAD Prize for Achievement in 2011



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