Remembering Dr. Jerry Palmer

Remembering Dr. Jerry Palmer

Jerry Palmer Obituary (1944 – 2024) – Rome, WA – Skagit Valley Herald (

We were saddened to hear of the death last week of friend and colleague, Dr. Jerry Palmer.

Dr. Palmer retired in 2020 after a distinguished 40-year career at the University of Washington and the VA Puget Sound Health Care System (VAPSHCS), leaving a significant mark on Type 1 Diabetes research and care. His leadership roles included Chief of Endocrinology at VAPSHCS for over 25 years and Director of the Diabetes Care Center from 1996-2011.

Dr. Palmer is probably best known for his scientific contributions, including pivotal roles in groundbreaking clinical diabetes trials that revolutionized diabetes care. Serving on the Steering Committee for the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) from 1982 to 1993, he later played a central role in the Epidemiology of Diabetes Intervention and Complications Trial (EDIC). Additionally, Dr. Palmer contributed to the Diabetes Prevention Trial (DPT-1) and TrialNet. Co-authoring over four hundred publications, he was awarded the American Diabetes Association Outstanding Physician Award in 2011.

Dr. Irl Hirsch remembers Dr. Palmer as a collaborator and friend, “Jerry was internationally known for his work in the autoimmunity of type 1 diabetes. His lab discovered the insulin autoantibody, one of the immune markers we now use to predict type 1 diabetes in children. Later, he developed a complex assay of T-cells, a measurement of cells that are reactive in the early stages of the disease. As one of the original investigators in the DCCT/EDIC study, his contributions were pivotal in demonstrating the critical importance of glucose control in averting diabetes complications. And it was Jerry’s vision that led to the establishment of a diabetes clinic at the University of Washington in 1991, which has since flourished into today’s UW Medicine Diabetes Institute, serving over 18,000 patients annually. Throughout his professional achievements, Jerry remained focused on his family and friends – he will be greatly missed.”

In addition to his academic contributions, Jerry will be remembered for his warm and generous spirit, easy laugh, and deep caring for his colleagues and family.

The Palmer family invite gifts in his memory to be directed to the UW Medicine Diabetes Institute. Please give online or send a check payable to UW Foundation to: UW Medicine Advancement, Box 358045, Seattle, WA 98195-8045 – noting ‘Diabetes Institute’ in the memo.