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Portrait of Dr. David B. Sacks
David B. Sacks, MB ChB, FACP, FRCPath

Senior Investigator
Chief, Clinical Chemistry Service

Laboratory Medicine

MB ChB, University of Cape Town, South Africa


Portrait of Dr. David B. Sacks
David B. Sacks, MB ChB, FACP, FRCPath

Senior Investigator
Chief, Clinical Chemistry Service

Laboratory Medicine

MB ChB, University of Cape Town, South Africa


Dr. David B. Sacks's primary clinical focus is in diabetes mellitus, with an emphasis on the interface between the clinical laboratory and patient care. In this endeavor, he has worked closely with the American Diabetes Association.

Dr. Sacks received his medical training at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. He completed residencies in Internal Medicine at Georgetown University affiliated hospitals in Washington, D.C. and in Clinical Pathology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and is board certified in both disciplines.

After completing fellowship training in Clinical Chemistry at Washington University School of Medicine, he joined the Department of Pathology at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, where he was both Medical Director of Clinical Chemistry and Director of the Clinical Pathology Training Program.

He joined the NIH as a Senior Investigator and Chief of Clinical Chemistry in 2011.

The scientific work in his research laboratory is in the general area of intracellular signal transduction, with a focus on calcium and calmodulin signaling. His research was funded for over 20 years by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Diabetes Association, the Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the U.S. Army and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.

Dr. Sacks is Chair of the National Glycohemoglobin Standardization Program (NGSP) steering committee. He was Director of the Young Investigator Program of the Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists (ACLPS) from 1995-2001 and later served as President of ACLPS. In addition, he serves on or chairs several other national and international committees. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in 1998.

He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles in scientific journals. He has been a member of the editorial board of Clinical Chemistry since 1995 and is currently an Associate Editor of the journal.

In addition, he has served on several other editorial boards, including The Journal of Biological Chemistry, The American Journal of Pathology and The American Journal of Clinical Pathology and is a member of the editorial advisory panel of The Biochemical Journal.

See his Curriculum Vitae.

See his Intramural Research Program bio page.

Original Reports

Li Z, Zhang Y, Hedman AC, Ames JB, Sacks DB. Calmodulin lobes facilitate dimerization and activation of estrogen receptor-a. J Biol Chem 2017; 292:4614-4622.

Chawla B, Hedman AC, Sayedyahossein S, Erdemir HH, Li Z, Sacks DB. Absence of IQGAP1 protein leads to insulin resistance. J Biol Chem 2017; 292:3273-3289.

Choi S, Hedman A, Sayedyahossein S, Thapa S, Sacks DB, Anderson R. Agonist-stimulated phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate generation by scaffolded phosphoinositide kinases. Nature Cell Biol 2016; 18:1324-1335. [Highlighted in News and Views]

Sayedyahossein S, Li Z, Hedman AC, Morgan CJ, Sacks DB. IQGAP1 binds to Yes-associated protein (YAP) and modulates its transcriptional activity. J Biol Chem 2016; 291:19261-19273.

Erdemir HH, Li Z, Sacks DB. IQGAP1 binds to estrogen receptor-α and modulates its function. J Biol Chem 2014; 289:9100-9112.

Choi S, Thapa N, Hedman AC, Li Z, Sacks DB, Anderson RA. IQGAP1 is a novel phosphatidylinositol 4,5 bisphosphate effector in regulation of directional cell migration. EMBO J 2013; 32:2617-2630.

Zhang Y, Li Z, Sacks DB, Ames JB. Structural basis for Ca2+-induced activation and dimerization of estrogen receptor α by calmodulin. J Biol Chem 2012; 287:9336-9344.
[Journal of Biological Chemistry Paper of the Week] [Recommended by the Faculty of 1000]

Sacks DB, Arnold M, Bakris GL, Bruns DE, Horvath AR, Kirkman MS, Lernmark A, Metzger BE, Nathan, DM. Guidelines and recommendations for laboratory analysis in the diagnosis and management of diabetes mellitus. Clin Chem 2011; 57:793-798.
[Published concurrently in Diabetes Care 2011; 34:1419-1423.]

Sharma S, Findlay GM, Bandukwala HS, Oberdoerffer S, Baust B, Li Z, Schmidt V, Hogan PG, Sacks DB, Rao A. Dephosphorylation of the nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) transcription factor is regulated by an RNA-protein scaffold complex. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2011; 108:11381-11386.

McNulty DE, Li Z, White CD, Sacks DB, Annan RS. MAP kinase scaffold IQGAP1 binds the EGF receptor and modulates its activation. J Biol Chem 2011; 286:15010-15021.

Jadeski L, Mataraza JM, Jeong HW, Li Z, Sacks DB. IQGAP1 stimulates proliferation and enhances tumourigenesis of human breast epithelial cells. J Biol Chem 2008; 283:1008-1017.

Brown MD, Bry L, Li Z, Sacks DB. IQGAP1 regulates Salmonella invasion through interactions with actin, Rac1 and Cdc42. J Biol Chem 2007; 282:30265-30272.

Ren JG, Li Z, Sacks DB. IQGAP1 modulates activation of B-Raf. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2007; 104:10465-10469.

Roy M, Li Z, Sacks DB. IQGAP1 is a scaffold for mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling. Mol Cell Biol 2005; 25:7940-7952.

Book Chapter and Reviews

Sacks DB. Diabetes mellitus. In: Rifai N, Horvath AR, Witter CT, editors. Tietz textbook of clinical chemistry and molecular diagnostics. 6th ed. St. Louis: Elsevier Saunders, 2018. p. 1160-1200.

Hedman AC, Smith JM, Sacks DB. The biology of IQGAP proteins: beyond the cytoskeleton [Review]. EMBO reports. 2015; 16:427-446.

Smith JM, Hedman AC, Sacks DB. IQGAPs choreograph cellular signaling from the membrane to the nucleus [Review]. Trends Cell Biol 2015; 25:171-184.

Sacks DB. Measurement of hemoglobin A1c: A new twist on the path to harmony [Review]. Diabetes Care 2012; 35:2674-2680.

Kim H, White CD, Sacks DB. IQGAP1 in microbial pathogenesis: Targeting the actin cytoskeleton [Review]. FEBS Lett 2011; 585:723-729.

Sacks DB. A1c versus glucose testing: A comparison [Review]. Diabetes Care 2011; 518-523.

Little RR, Rohlfing CL, Sacks DB. Status of HbA1c measurement and goals for improvement: From chaos to order for improving diabetes care [Review]. Clin Chem 2011; 57:204-214.

Sacks DB. Intensive glucose control in the ICU: Is SUGAR NICE? Nat Rev Endocrinol 2009; 5:473-474.

Scott MG, Bruns DE, Boyd JC, Sacks DB. Tight glucose control in the intensive care unit: are glucose meters up to the task? Clin Chem 2009; 55:18-20.

Brown MD, Sacks DB. IQGAP1 in cellular signalling: bridging the GAP [Review]. Trends Cell Biol 2006; 16:242-249.

  • Outstanding Contributions in Education, American Association for Clinical Chemistry, 2012
  • Distinguished Scientist Award, National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry, 2009
  • Gerald T. Evans Award, Academy of Clinical Laboratory Physicians and Scientists, 2008
  • Visiting Professor, South African Association of Clinical Biochemists, 2007
  • Transatlantic Award Lecture, The Association for Clinical Biochemistry UK, 2007
  • Norman P. Kubasik Lectureship Award, American Association for Clinical Chemistry, Upstate New York Section, 2006
  • Outstanding Contributions to Clinical Chemistry in a Selected Area of Research, American Association for Clinical Chemistry, 2005
  • Visiting Professor, Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, 2003
  • Lilian B. Ladenson and Oree M. Caroll Visiting Professor, Washington University School of Medicine, 1998

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This page last updated on 05/17/2021

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