Kudolo honored for study showing herb doesn’t cause insulin resistance


George Kudolo, Ph.D., professor in the department of clinical laboratory sciences at the Health Science Center, has received the Martin Goland Research Award from the Alamo Chapter of Sigma Xi.

Sigma Xi, founded in 1886, is a scientific research association that includes 200 Nobel Prize winners. The Alamo Chapter is open to members of universities, research facilities, centers and laboratories in the San Antonio area.

Dr. Kudolo, one of the leading researchers in the Health Science Center’s School of Allied Health Sciences, received the Goland Award for his studies on the extract of Ginkgo biloba, the maidenhair tree, which is native to China. Ginkgo biloba is a widely used herbal supplement.

Dr. Kudolo’s studies to date have been conducted with a $1.2 million grant from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It was the Health Science Center’s first grant from this relatively new NIH institute.

His studies have been conducted at the General Clinical Research Center, an NIH-funded center under the partnership of the Health Science Center and the Southwest Veterans Health Care System, Audie Murphy Division.

This past March, Dr. Kudolo and his collaborators published a paper in Clinical Nutrition that suggested Ginkgo biloba does not cause insulin resistance, a condition that precedes the onset of type 2 diabetes. The group has also studied the herb’s effects on the pancreas, which produces insulin, a hormone that lowers blood sugar. Dr. Kudolo and the team earlier reported that insulin levels increased in a group of patients with pancreatic exhaustion who ingested Ginkgo biloba. “Ginkgo biloba has been used for more than 5,000 years, and we were the first to report its insulin-stimulating effect on the pancreas,” Dr. Kudolo said.

The Goland Award is named for the late Dr. Martin Goland, president of Southwest Research Institute from 1959 until 1997.

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