Prominent Endocrinologist Dies

Guenther Boden, who linked insulin resistance with fatty acids in the blood, has passed away at age 80.

Nov 20, 2015
Karen Zusi

TEMPLE UNIVERSITY HEALTH SYSTEMGuenther Boden, endocrinologist and diabetes researcher, died last month (October 30) in Philadelphia. The cause was pancreatic cancer. He was 80.

Boden graduated from medical school in Germany in 1959, and completed postgraduate training in both Germany and the U.S. He began a 45-year tenure at Temple University in Philadelphia in 1970 and remained active there until his death.

The US National Institutes of Health funded Boden’s research for more than 40 years. He authored landmark studies on insulin resistance and sensitivity during his career, which helped advance research for type 2 diabetes treatments. Boden demonstrated the link between fatty acids in the blood and a loss of insulin activity, which leads to high blood sugar.

In September, Boden and his colleagues published a study on adults who were confined to a hospital bed and consumed 6,000 calories per day for a week. The study participants started showing signs of insulin resistance on the second day, coupled with systemic oxidative stress. (See “The 6,000 Calorie Diet,” The Scientist, November 2015.)

“[Boden] was known for giving his time and talent to assist patients, other physicians, scientists, and particularly students and junior faculty,” colleague Kevin Jon Williams from Temple University told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “His passion for medicine as a calling was beloved by all who worked alongside him.”

Boden is survived by his wife of 45 years, Irene Boden; four children; seven grandchildren; and two sisters.