On 2 June 2022, Prof. Andrzej Królewski from Harvard University, a world class specialist in the area of diabetes and its most common complication, diabetic nephropathy, has been awarded with the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of the Jagiellonian University. The traditional ceremony was held in Collegium Novum.
The oldest Polish university has conferred the honorary doctorate upon Prof. Królewski for his immense contribution to science in the area of the epidemiology, genetics and complications of diabetes as well as for his long-time support for the Jagiellonian University, chiefly through organising and facilitating internships for Jagiellonian University Medical College Faculty of Medicine researchers.
In his laudatory address, Prof. Tomasz Klupa from the JU MC Faculty of Medicine spoke about Prof. Królewski’s numerous achievements, including opening a new chapter in the research of diabetes at the Joslin Diabetes Center, discovering several genes specific to MODY (Maturity Onset of Diabetes in Youth) and a gene preventing the progression of kidney failure, and identifying circulating proteins that can be used as predictors for the deterioration of renal function.
‘When discussing Prof. Andrzej Królewski’s research activities, one cannot fail to mention his enormous commitment to the development of medicine in Poland and promoting young Polish doctors and researchers. His efforts began with Prof. Jacek Sieradzki’s visit to Boston in 1986, which resulted in a series of internships for a number of researchers from the JU MC Faculty of Medicine. Prof. Andrzej Królewski has visited Poland many times to share his expertise with our scientific community. He has delivered many lectures in Poland, including Kraków, and has been hosted several times by the Jagiellonian University’, said Prof. Tomasz Klupa.
Prof. Andrzej Królewski stressed that many of his discoveries have been the result of collaboration with young and ambitious doctors from Kraków. He also brought up the work of JU MC Faculty of Medicine’s current Dean Prof. Maciej Małecki, whose paper on MODY 6 published in Nature Genetics is one of the most frequently cited sources in the area of diabetes genetics, and Prof. Tomasz Klupa’s publication Discovery of new gene for Type 2 diabetes on chromosome 20q, which secured him an international grant that allowed him to continue his research in Kraków. He also mentioned the fundamental work on the aetiology of diabetic nephropathy complications that involved Prof. Jan Skupień. Other past interns in Prof. Królewski’s lab include Dr hab. Stanisław Wanica, Dr Natalia Nowak, Dr Jacek Bocheński and Dr Paweł Wołkow.
‘The success of a laboratory depends upon many people. I hold Kraków doctors in a very high regard. However, I’d like to offer a special thank you to my wife Dr Bożena Królewska, who has been my research partner for 25 years. We’ve co-written a lot of papers and plan on carrying out numerous projects in the future. And as a more private sidenote, tomorrow we’ll be celebrating the 50th anniversary of our marriage’, said Prof. Królewski.