Dr. Leonid Poretsky graduated from First (Pavlov) Medical Institute in Leningrad, Russia (now St. Petersburg State Medical University), cum laude in 1977. He completed a fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at Boston’s Beth Israel Hospital (now Beth Israel/Deaconess Medical Center) and a research fellowship at Harvard Medical School (1983–1985). He is professor of medicine at Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and Chief of the Division of Endocrinology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, a member of the Northwell Health System. His research interests include mechanisms of insulin action in the ovary, endocrinological aspects of AIDS and clinical outcomes in diabetes. He has authored over 100 publications and has served on the National Institutes of Health review committees and on the editorial boards of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism and other endocrine journals.
While working as a research fellow at Harvard in the early 1980s, Dr. Poretsky became known for discovering, describing and characterizing insulin receptors in the human ovary. Dr. Poretsky’s finding established the ovary as a target for regulation by insulin, and introduced a new paradigm of the gonadotropic function of insulin. Poretsky had initially been researching the causes of hyperandrogenism in patients with extreme forms of insulin resistance, for example in women with insulin receptor gene mutations. Subsequently, his work became important for understanding more common disorders, such as polycystic ovary syndrom (PCOS), which affects up to 10% of reproductive age women and is associated with infertility and diabetes. Dr. Poretsky’s work helped lead to the use of insulin-sensitizing agents in patients with PCOS. Dr. Poretsky and his co-workers also characterized related receptors in the ovary (insulin-like growth factor receptors, peroxisome-proliferator activated receptor-gamma), and he conceptualized the insulin-related ovarian regulatory system.
Dr. Poretsky’s other research interests include clinical studies in diabetes and endocrinological aspects of HIV-infection. Current studies involve laboratory work on the effects of a recently discovered hormone, irisin, in the reproductive system, the potential role of Vitamin D in preventing type 2 diabetes; and developing clinical strategies to reduce readmission rates in patients with diabetes.
First Medical Institute, Leningrad, Russia