HOLLYWOOD, Fla., May 20, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- After successfully leading the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation (DRIF) for two decades, Robert A. Pearlman, 67, of Boca Raton, FL, announced that he will be stepping down from his position as president and CEO effective June 30, 2013.
Mr. Pearlman was recruited to the DRI Foundation in 1993, after a 25-year career in the fundraising field, to increase funding for the Diabetes Research Institute (DRI) at the University of Miami, the sole beneficiary of its support. During his tenure, the Foundation and the DRI experienced exponential growth, developing into one of the premier diabetes organizations and a recognized world-leader in cure-focused diabetes research.
Under his leadership, the DRIF has raised approximately $300 million and, in the process, became the largest contributor to the University of Miami in its history. Mr. Pearlman presided over three consecutive five-year campaigns which increased fundraising more than 15 percent per year. When Mr. Pearlman steps down at the end of this fiscal year, the annual campaign will close 13 percent over this year's goal and up 34 percent over last year.
"We thank and honor Bob for his tremendous service for the last 20 years. He built the Diabetes Research Institute and Foundation into a world-class institution and has made a tremendous impact on shortening our timeline toward the discovery of a cure for diabetes," said Harold G. Doran, Jr., chairman of the DRIF's National Board of Directors. "Bob is leaving us in a strong and exciting position to move toward our goal of a cure and continue our momentum after unveiling the DRI BioHub earlier this year."
"It has been an incredible privilege and personally gratifying for me to have led the DRI Foundation for the last 20 years and to have worked side by side with Dr. Camillo Ricordi, director of the DRI. I've been surrounded by an incredible team at both the Institute and Foundation, many of whom have been at the organization even longer than me. I'm confident that with this team in place the mission to cure diabetes will be achieved," said Mr. Pearlman.
DRI Foundation Chief Operating Officer Deborah Chodrow will become acting president and CEO on July 1, 2013. She will serve in this capacity as the organization conducts a national search for a permanent successor. Mr. Pearlman will remain a consultant to the Foundation for a period of time to ensure a smooth transition for his successor.
About the Diabetes Research Institute and Foundation
The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation is the organization of choice for those who are serious, passionate and committed to curing diabetes. Its mission is to provide the Diabetes Research Institute with the funding necessary to cure diabetes now.
The Diabetes Research Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine leads the world in cure-focused research. As the largest and most comprehensive research center dedicated to curing diabetes, the DRI is aggressively working to develop a biological cure for diabetes. Researchers have already shown that diabetes can be reversed through islet transplantation, with some study patients living insulin free for more than a decade. The Institute is now building upon these promising outcomes by developing a DRI BioHub, an integrated "mini organ" that mimics that native pancreas, containing thousands of insulin-producing cells that sense blood sugar levels and produce the precise insulin needed in real time. The Diabetes Research Institute and Foundation were created for one reason to cure diabetes which is and will continue to be its singular focus until that goal is reached. For the millions of children and adults affected by diabetes, the Diabetes Research Institute is the best hope for a cure. For more information, please visit www.DiabetesResearch.org or call 800-321-3437.
SOURCE Diabetes Research Institute Foundation