Dr. Jun Qin to Hold New Endowed Chair

Jun Qin, PhD, Molecular Cardiology, has been named the Bonnie & Eunice Collins Endowed Chair for Innovative Diabetes Research.

An expert in structural biology, cell signaling and protein-ligand interactions, Dr. Qin’s research applies to many different disease areas. His diabetes research focuses on an integrin-linked kinase (ILK), an integrin signaling protein involved with cell adhesion and linked to insulin resistance. He uses leading-edge techniques to study the three-dimensional structure of ILK and has developed small molecule compounds to block the protein and potentially stop diabetes progression. These findings set the groundwork for a potential ILK-directed therapy of diabetes.

Mrs. Bonnie Collins established this new endowed chair in memory of her late husband, Eunice Collins, who passed away in 2013. Eunice Collins was only 7 years old when he went into diabetic coma, and he lived with the disease his entire life. He was a devoted advocate for Cleveland Clinic research and hoped that a cure would be found in his lifetime. In 2009, he gave a moving speech at a Friends of the LRI donor event, in which he told the story of his illness and urged the audience, “We must find a cure.”

Dr. Qin earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Nanjing Normal University (China) and a PhD in chemistry from the University of California, Davis. He joined Cleveland Clinic in 1996 as an assistant staff member and was promoted to full staff in 2003. He is currently PI on two R01 grants that have been continuously funded for 16 and 18 years. He is also a project leader on a Molecular Cardiology NIH Program project grant (PO1). In 2012, Dr. Qin was elected as a fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Science for significant contributions to the mechanistic understanding of cell signaling.