The Boston-Ithaca Islet Club was founded in 1992 when there was a clear desire for closer interactions and collaborations between islet researchers in Boston and Ithaca, principally at that time, the laboratories of Susan Bonner-Weir (Harvard University), Chris Boyd (Tufts University), Barbara Corkey (Boston University), Gordon Weir (Harvard University) and Geoffrey Sharp (Cornell University). Thus on April 3rd, 1993 the first meeting was held. Remarkably, over 70 people participated in the meeting. Meetings have been held once each year in the Spring with enthusiastic participation by senior and junior researchers alike. Attendance has ranged from over 70 (the first meeting) to a maximum of 110, with the usual being between 80 and 100. Participation in the meetings has expanded from the founding group in Boston and Ithaca and now includes regular participation by groups from Buffalo NY, Montreal, Toronto and Quebec (Canada), New Haven CT, Syracuse NY, Washington DC, New York NY, Worcester MA and occasional participants from Philadelphia PA, Richmond, VA and other places. Clearly, the club is filling a real need.

The goals of the club have been constant from the outset. In 1992 we determined that our goals should include “…informal presentation of research, free sharing of ideas and current data, the development of research collaborations and general good fellowship.” All of these have been achieved. In addition, the club has emphasized the development of young researchers. At our meetings, new and unpublished data are discussed freely and young researchers present their findings to a critical yet friendly and supportive audience. As a direct result of these meetings, collaborative research efforts have blossomed.

The Founding Members listed below are recognized for their participation in the formation and continued success of this vibrant, active society:

  • Susan Bonner-Weir, Ph.D., Harvard University
  • Chris Boyd, Ph.D., Tufts University
  • Barbara Corkey, Ph.D., Boston University
  • Geoffrey Sharp, Ph.D., D.Sc., Cornell University
  • Gordon C. Weir, M.D., Harvard University