Latha Palaniappan Receives Health Leadership Award

Latha Palaniappan, MD, MS, professor of primary care and population health and epidemiology, has just received the India Community Center’s (ICC) Health Leadership Award for her efforts in representing understudied communities (particularly Asian communities) in medicine around the globe.

Palaniappan, who began her career as a volunteer for Doctors Without Borders in East Timor in 1999, is currently conducting research on the effects of physical activity on the management of diabetes. She's the principal investigator for two diabetic-exercise studies: IMPACT (Initiate and Maintain Physical Activity) and STRONG-D (Strength Training Regimen for Normal Weight Diabetics). Her STRONG-D study is specifically for normal-weight diabetics, a scenario which is quite prevalent in Asian populations. 

In 2002, she served on a study advisory board for Cardiovascular Risk Factors Among South Asians. Since then she has she co-founded PRANA, a South Asian Wellness Program, which aims to provide preventive services for a community that is high-risk for diabetes and heart disease. In 2016, she received the Top Internist in California Award as well as Stanford University Asian American Faculty Award.

In her remarks at the Health Leadership Award ceremony, Palaniappan issued a call to action for diverse populations to participate in clinical research, so we can better tailor and personalize recommendations for all patients.