History of the EGIR Group

The start of the EGIR group goes back to 1992 in Prague, where a meeting was organized with focus on pre-diabetes, insulin resistance, and the metabolic syndrome.

Participants in the first meeting were Stefano del Prato, Johan Eriksson, Eveline Eschwège, Ele Ferrannini, Annick Fontbonne, Leif Groop, Rury Holman, Hans Janka, Markku Laakso, Hans Lithell, André Scheen, Marja Riitta Taskinen, Robert Turner and Ivana Zavaroni.

In 1993, Annick Fontbonne, Leif Groop and Christophe Pasik organized a second meeting, at Le Château de Maffliers, in France, sponsored by by the pharmaceutical company Lipha”. Lipha. The topics were “Metabolic Syndrome” by  Ele Ferrannini, Paul McKeigh, and Ulf Smith;  “how to measure insulin resistance”  by Stefano del Prato, Robert Turner and André Scheen and “what predicts NIDDM” by Leif Groop, Robert Turner, and Philippe Froguel. The meeting counted 34 attendees and 16 abstracts.

In 1995, Ele Ferrannini proposed to combine data from several European centers with measures of insulin resistance using the hyperinsulinaemic euglycaemic clamp.  This initiative produced a widely cited publication on the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The success of this research network and the effective work by Beverley Balkau, Jacqueline Dekker and Sarah Hills led to a project proposal entitled “Relationship between Insulin Sensitivity and Cardiovascular Disease” (RISC) that received in 2001 a European Commission grant to carry out a study examining the effects of insulin resistance in healthy people. Additional financial support was granted by AstraZeneca. The EGIR-RISC study included 21 different European centres and recruited more than one thousand volunteers. Many important papers have been produced to date, and the researcher are still involved in the long-term follow-up of the cohort.

Annual EGIR meetings are regularly held since 1992, on topics beyond insulin resistance. In 2018 EGIR officially became an EASD Study Group.

An extract of the original article by Beverley Balkau and Sarah Hills.

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