George B. Primbs, M.D., Receives Prestigious W. D. Sansum Award

George B. Primbs, M.D., FACS, an ophthalmologist and eye surgeon who has conducted research on the diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy and provides free eye examinations for people with diabetes and the medically underserved at the Sansum Diabetes Research Institute since 2005, has been presented the W.D. Sansum Award for distinguished service to the community. The award is named for Dr. William D. Sansum who, in 1922, was the first physician in the United States to manufacture and administer life-saving insulin to a patient with diabetes. Dr. Sansum went on to establish a nationally renowned clinic in Santa Barbara and created Sansum Diabetes Research Institute to carry on his legacy in diabetes research, education and care.

Executive Director Rem Laan commented that “Dr. Primbs exemplifies many remarkable qualities that Dr. Sansum possessed. He is a brilliant physician and researcher, an expert in diagnosing diabetic retinopathy and is fully dedicated to his patients. He expresses great compassionate for those less fortunate and treats all patients with dignity and respect. He is an asset to Sansum Diabetes and the entire Santa Barbara community.”

Dr. Primbs received his medical degree at UCLA School of Medicine and completed his surgical internship at UCLA Hospital. He earned his ophthalmology degree at UCLA Hospital after serving as an eye surgeon and Captain in the U.S. Air Force. He worked as an ophthalmologist in private practice in Santa Barbara from 1962 to 1995. Dr. Primbs has been very active in nonprofit organizations and was a founding member of SEE International in 1974. Dr. Primbs is Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology at Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA Medical Center and a researcher at the Neuroscience Institute at University of California. He has received many awards, including the Lions Sight and Hearing Award in 1994 and the Jules Stein Eye Institute Teaching Award at UCLA in 2003.

About Sansum Diabetes Research Institute

Sansum Diabetes Research Institute is an internationally recognized research center devoted to the prevention, treatment and cure of diabetes. Dr. William D. Sansum, who brought renown to Santa Barbara in 1922 as the first physician in the U.S. to produce and administer life-saving insulin to patients with diabetes, founded the nonprofit organization in 1944. Today, Sansum Diabetes Research Institute remains an extraordinary place, improving the lives of people in Santa Barbara and worldwide who suffer from this serious disease.

Sansum Diabetes has gained global acclaim for its work to develop an artificial pancreas, its success in developing protocols to increase the incidence of healthy babies born to women with diabetes, and its work with people with and at risk for type 2 diabetes. Physicians and researchers continue to develop new treatment protocols for people with diabetes, including new drugs and medical devices.

It is our intention to use our past and present accomplishments to guide us into the future – to tap into the energy and commitment that made Sansum Diabetes Research Institute what it is today – a leader in diabetes research, education and care. For more information on Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, contact Sarah Ettman-Sterner at (805) 682-7638 or and visit


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