Endocrinology and Metabolism Faculty Profile – William Ben Horton

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Mississippi with a large family (3 sisters- all younger!). We moved to Chattanooga, TN when I was in sixth grade, and I ultimately completed middle and high school there. I then returned to Mississippi for undergraduate studies at Mississippi College. After college, I spent a year performing basic science research in the Department of Physiology at the University of Mississippi before starting medical school at the same institution. I completed Internal Medicine residency training at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and Endocrinology fellowship training here at the University of Virginia. After fellowship, I was very excited to join the UVA faculty as an Assistant Professor of Medicine!

Why Healthcare? Why Research?
There are many reasons for this, but I’ll try to keep this answer brief (as I could expound on this topic for hours!). Regarding healthcare, my father is a general internist and I have always admired/respected him greatly. Seeing the joy with which he pursued a career in healthcare has always been a motivating factor for me. Furthermore, I have type 1 diabetes. For me, living with a chronic disease provides intense motivation for a career in both healthcare and research.

What brought you to Charlottesville?
As noted above, fellowship training initially brought me to UVA. The collegial academic environment and strong research opportunities were some (of the many) characteristics that persuaded me to stay here after fellowship training. Specifically, the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism is an excellent place to initiate and cultivate an academic career. Most importantly, I met my wife here during fellowship training. We enjoy the natural surroundings (mountains, rivers, etc.) that the Charlottesville area offers. And the food- the food scene in Charlottesville is great!

What excites you about your work?
The opportunity to positively impact the lives of patients living with diabetes, both on a personal level in clinic and on a “macro” level with research that (hopefully) finds ways to improve lifespan and quality-of-life.

What are you usually doing in spare time?
Spending time with my wife, hiking a local trail, or watching UVA sports. I’ve become a big UVA basketball fan, though I’ve been accused of being a bandwagon fan for moving here right around the time UVA won a national championship. From my perspective, the timing could not have been better (and I’m ok with the bandwagon fan label)!

Favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere with my wife. Preferably a location with sand and a beach, though I’m usually not too picky.

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