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2015 Alumnus of the Year

Awarding excellence

Since 1968, we’ve been celebrating retired and active physicians who have made unique and international contributions to clinical practice, teaching, or research. Over the years, we’ve chosen recipients who have been internationally recognized, published, and have participated in national professional and academic societies.

Dr. Meng Tan (MD'69)

Dr. Meng Tan graduated from Dalhousie Medical School cum laude in 1969. After his internal medicine residency at Dal, he became a research fellow at Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard, after which he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in lipid disorders at the Cardiovascular Research Institute at the University of California in San Francisco. Upon returning to Dalhousie Medical School, he held a series of academic, administrative, and clinical appointments over 20 years, including head of the Division of Endocrinology & Metabolism.

In 1991, Dr. Tan led the expert panel that developed Canada’s first clinical practice guidelines for the management of diabetes. He later helped Singapore colleagues set up their first clinical practice guidelines and implemented diabetes management programs in several other Asian countries. As consultant to Project HOPE, he was involved in assessing needs for diabetes care and setting up the China Diabetes Education Program, which has trained thousands of providers and patients over a decade.

From 1999 to 2007, Dr. Tan worked with Eli Lilly as a medical director and distinguished medical fellow and initiated the Dollar a Day campaign, which raised thousands of dollars for insulin and diabetes clinics in many countries, including India, Congo, Rwanda, and Tanzania.

Closer to home and earlier in his career, Dr. Tan was founding editor ofCanadian Diabetes, which kept Canadian family doctors informed about developments in diabetes for more than two decades. As president of the Canadian Diabetes Association, he worked with the association’s London and District Branch to create the Flame of Hope, which was lit by the Queen Mother on July 9, 1989. This will continue to burn outside the home of insulin co-discoverer Sir Frederick Banting until a cure for diabetes is found.

Even though he is now semi-retired and enjoys spending time with his grandchildren, Dr. Tan continues to see patients with endocrinology fellows and is involved in National Institutes of Health-sponsored research at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He is also inaugural editor-in-chief of Clinical Diabetes & Endocrinology, a new peer-reviewed, open-access journal.