Heroes for a Cure Promise Gala Hero: Dr. Dana Hardin

HardinDana’s career has gone to the dogs.

Dana’s story begins when she was a kid and noticed something interesting about her grandmother’s dog, a dachshund. Whenever her grandmother’s was experiencing hypoglycemia, the dachshund would notify the grandfather. This fascinated Dana. Fast-forward to today and Dana has turned a precocious observation into a lifelong passion and innovative career.

As a Medical Director and Pediatric Endocrinologist at Eli Lilly and Company, Dana combines the high-tech of diabetes science with the loving touch of hypoglycemia alerting service dogs like Pete. When Pete and other dogs like him sense a hypoglycemic event beginning, he vigorously nudges his owner under the arm. Dana’s research—with assistance from Indiana Canine Assistance Network (ICAN)—has three goals:

  1. to demonstrate the impact of service dogs to patients with diabetes
  2. to further build scientific credibility in this area by demonstrating reproducibility, sensitivity and specificity of the dogs to detect hypoglycemia
  3. to help better understand what the dogs are sensing

Dana believes to discover a cure for diabetes it will take much collaborative and innovative thinking in the world of science and will require much funding. Her work with Pete is one such partnership in which we can take the leash off of conventional thinking and dig up innovative, new ideas to help people with diabetes.