Dr. Vinik is the Murray Waitzer Endowed Chair for Diabetes Research, Professor of Medicine, Pathology, and Neurobiology, Director of Research and Neuroendocrine Unit at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS), Strelitz Diabetes Center for Endocrine and Metabolic Disorders.
A global leader in basic and clinical neuropathy, Dr. Vinik, in essence, has defined the heterogeneity of neuropathy, established a need for a modular approach depending on the particular nerve fiber damaged, and pioneered immunotherapy for autoimmune neuropathies. He was awarded a lifetime achievement award by EASD Neurodiab in 2011.
Dr. Vinik discovered the INGAP gene (Islet Neogenesis Associated Protein) responsible for stimulating immature cells in the diabetic pancreas to produce insulin. It is now in combination with an IL12 antagonist in clinical trial as a prospective cure for certain forms of diabetes.
He is the author of eight books – one of which is devoted to islet regeneration – 123 book chapters, and has published more than 600 papers in peer-reviewed, highly reputable journals. Dr. Vinik received the Dean's Award for Outstanding Research in 1993 and the Dean's Award for Outstanding Faculty in 1999. In 2002, he received the award for the Virginia Outstanding Scientist by the Science Museum of VA, and the Southern Medical Association’s Seale Harris Award in 2003. He was awarded the Alpha Omega Alpha in 2004 by EVMS students. In 2005, he was elected to Mastership of the American College of Physicians.
Dr. Vinik served as a member of the National Institute of Health General Clinical Research Center Study Section and the NIH Data Management Committee. He was also Chairman of the American Diabetes Association task force on Nutrition, which established the guidelines for nutritional management of diabetes, and Chair of the subcommittee for the development of guidelines for neuropathy testing and wrote the AACE neuropathy guidelines.
He serves as Editor of “Endocrine Reviews” and the journal,Frontiers in Endocrinology. In addition, he is an editor of several books such as “Neuroendocrine Tumors” the section on Neuroendocrine Tumors in De Groot’s textbook ofEndocrinology. Dr. Vinik has received research funding for his studies from the National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, Kroc Foundation, American Diabetes Association, HUD, DHHS, NASA, Diabetes Research Institute Foundation, and pharmaceutical industries.
Dr. Vinik holds three issued patents on INGAP and Nutrinerves, and holds the copyright for the Norfolk Quality of Life Tool DN, used as a screening tool, and end-point for clinical trials in neuropathy. He also holds the copyright for the questionnaire for assessing Quality of Life in patients with neuroendocrine tumors and fatigue.