Current DRC investigators

 Center Member Title  Department

 Brief Research Description (key words)

 Research Description 
 Akturk, Halis, PhD Assistant ProfessorPediatrics-Barbara Davis Center Diabetes mellitus, Type 1, blood glucose, blood glucose self-monitoring, hypoglycemic agents, diabetes mellitus, Type 2Dr. Aturk’s research is focused on immune checkpoint inhibitor-induced type 1 diabetes.  While immune checkpoint inhibitors are very effective in cancer treatment, their effect is not only limited to tumor cell and they have many autoimmune side effects. One of the permanent endocrine side effects is type 1 diabetes. A goal of Dr. Akturk's lab is to identify risk factors to develop diabetes and develop screening algorithms to prevent morbidity and mortality related to diabetic ketoacidosis and understand PD-1 pathway in possible prevention of the development of childhood onset type 1 diabetes.
Alonso, G. Todd, MDAssociate ProfessorPediatrics- Barbara Davis Center Diabetes mellitus Type 1, diabetic ketoacidosis, Graves disease, glycated hemoglobin A, insulin infusion systemsDr. Alonso’s primary academic interest is redesigning the system in which care is provided to children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. He leads multiple quality improvement initiatives which help evolve the delivery of diabetes care, including automatically providing patients with a personalized sick day action plan at each visit, designing sick day teaching materials, and developing the "Extra Care" program to provide extra assistance for approximately 500 families in scheduling and attending clinic encounters. In 2020, he co-led the development of a COVID-19 registry for the T1D Exchange which has published and submitted several manuscripts describing the experience of US patients with T1D who experience COVID-19.
Albers, David, PhDAssociate ProfessorPediatrics - Informatics & Data ScienceMachine learning, Mathematical models of physiology, inference methods, Data analysis, Mining methods, artificial pancreas, T2D

Dr. Albers is a biomedical informatician with a PhD in mathematical physics. Dr. Albers develops mathematical models of physiology, machine learning models, and their associated inference methods to support the extraction and creation of new knowledge from data related to diabetes, to support clinician-centric decision support, and to support patient-centric decision support for chronic disease self-management. He also works with model-based control, e.g., like the artificial pancreas project, but in the context of type-2 diabetes, cystic fibrosis related diabetes, and within the intensive care unit unrelated to diabetes. 

Baker, Rocky, PharmD


Research Assistant ProfessorImmunology & MicrobiologyCD4 positive T-lymphocytes, autoantigens, islet amyloid polypeptide, diabetes Type 1The focus of Dr. Baker’s research is to understand how islet-reactive CD4 T cells are activated in the context of T1D. His work has ranged from exploring the mechanisms contributing to T cell effector function to investigating the role of new beta-cell autoantigens. The discovery and characterization of new antigens implicated in the pathogenesis of T1D is a high priority as it can lead to new diagnostic tools and anticipate that studies proposed by Dr. Baker will provide critical information to target autoreactive T cells though antigen-specific therapies.
Benninger, Richard, PhDAssociate Professor


BioengineeringIslets of Langerhans, cell-cell communication, insulinDr. Benninger’s research focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying pancreatic islet function and decline in type1 and type2 diabetes. A major focus has been understanding the role of intra-islet communication and functional sub-populations of cells in islet function, and how disruption to intra-islet communication mechanisms and changes in sub-populations occur in diabetes and may contribute to islet decline.  Complimentary to these studies, Dr Benninger’s lab is also developing ultrasound-based imaging diagnostics for non-invasively detecting islet decline in pre-symptomatic diabetes and as a platform for image-guided drug delivery.
Berg, Leslie, PhDProfessor and ChairImmunology & MicrobiologyCD8-Positive T-lymphocytes, cell differentiation, T-lymphocytes,The focus of Dr. Berg's work is on the signaling proteins and pathways regulating T lymphocyte development, differentiation, activation, and migration, with a strong emphasis on T-cell receptor (TCR) signaling. Her work on the T cell tyrosine kinase ITK has revealed a critical role for this TCR signaling protein in autoreactive T cell trafficking into tissues such as the pancreas and the intestine. She is currently engaged in efforts to identify allosteric inhibitors of ITK that could be used in combination with active site kinase inhibitors to target ITK and thereby interfere with autoimmune T cell infiltration. A goal of this project is to block the progression of islet inflammation in Type I diabetes-susceptible individuals.
Bergman, Bryan, PhDProfessorMedicine-Endocrinology, Metabolism and DiabetesMuscle insulin resistanceDr. Bergman’s research investigates the relationship between muscle lipids and insulin sensitivity. His laboratory focuses on the relationship between skeletal muscle subcellular lipid localization and insulin resistance in humans, and how intermuscular adipose tissue impacts skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity, muscle strength, and size in humans. The overall goal of Dr. Bergman’s research is to uncover novel therapeutic targets to increase muscle insulin sensitivity, a need not met by currently therapies, to help prevent and treat pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes.
Bergouignan, Audrey, PhDAssistant ProfessorMedicine-Endocrinology, Metabolism and DiabetesEnergy metaboloism, bed rest, exercise, dietary fatsDr. Bergouignan’ research focuses on the study of energy balance and metabolic flexibility, and their regulation by environmental factors, i.e. physical activity, sedentary behaviors and diet. She aims to (i) understand the mechanisms by which sedentary behaviors and physical inactivity contribute to the development and progression of metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndrome, (ii) test and implement in daily life preventive strategies of sedentary behaviors and associated metabolic diseases. Her approach is interdisciplinary and translational, and aims to provide objective evidence to help refining future public health guidelines on physical activity and thus help combating the type 2 diabetes and obesity epidemic. 
Bessesen, Daniel, MDProfessorMedicine- Endocrinology, Metabolism and DiabetesEnergy metabolism, obesity, dietary fats, energy intake, body weightDr. Bessesen’s research focuses on understanding the physiology of body weight regulation and also the clinical treatment of obesity. Human physiological studies done by his group are designed to understand the mechanisms that promote or protect against weight gain. They have studied the effects of over and underfeeding as well as the effects of exercise in constitutively thin, obese and reduced obese men and women.  Recent work has focused on how diurnal metabolism/hormone profiles and clock gene expression in adipose tissue respond to daytime overfeeding or exercise. 
Bjornstad, Petter, MDAssistant professorPeds/Endo/Med/ Nephrologymetabolic regulation, diabetic kidney diseaseDr. Bjornstad is a translational and clinical investigator whose research focus is on metabolic and hemodynamic mechanisms underlying the development of diabetic kidney disease (DKD) in type 1 (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D). In his research, he uses gold standard infusion procedures to quantify glomerular filtration rate (iohexol clearance) and effective renal plasma flow (p-aminhippurate clearance), in addition to hyperglycemic and hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamps to measure insulin sensitivity. He also uses functional renal MRI to determine renal perfusion and cortical and medullary oxygenation (before and after furosemide). 
Borengasser, Sarah, PhDAssistant professorPediatrics- NutritionEarly origins of obesity, DNA methylation, nutrition interventions, insulin resistance, and multi-omics The main goals of Borengasser’s research program are to: 1) investigate maternal nutrition and epigenetic programming (DNA methylation); 2) identify biomarkers for obesity, obesity-comorbidities, and weight loss response using multi-omic approaches; and 3) study the role for personalized lifestyle approaches to prevent and treat obesity and type 2 diabetes. Currently, her research team is testing if changes in DNA methylation and gut microbiome are associated with weight loss, insulin sensitivity, and cardiovascular risk outcomes following a behavioral based weight loss intervention. 
Boyle, Kristen, PhDAssociate ProfessorPediatrics- NutritionObesity, skeletal muscle, adipocytes, lipid metabolism, insulin resistance, gestational diabetes, developmental programmingThe major goal of Dr. Boyle’s research program is to identify and understand how maternal exposures in pregnancy may alter offspring phenotype in humans. Her research aims to determine the epigenetic regulation of phenotype differences in infants born to mothers with obesity or other potentially adverse exposures using mesenchymal stem cells derived from human umbilical cord tissue.
Broussard, Josiane, PhDAssistant ProfessorMedicine- Endocrinology, Metabolism and DiabetesInsulin resistance, sleep deprivation, insulin, fatty acids nonesterifiedDr. Broussard is interested in understanding the role of sleep and circadian regulation in metabolic homeostasis. Specifically, she studies how sleep and circadian disruption impair metabolic tissues and whether countermeasures can be defined that improve metabolic health when these behaviors are unavoidable. Dr. Broussard directs the Sleep and Metabolism Laboratory at Colorado State University and is an active affiliated faculty member of the DEM&D and uses the Clinical and Translational Research Center at the University for her ongoing studies. 
Kimberly Bruce, PhDAssociate ProfessorDivision of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes Lipid and lipoprotein metabolism, Brain Metabolism, Glia, Macrophages, Lipoprotein Lipase, Neurodegenerative disease Dr. Kimberley Bruce has a long-standing interest in interrogating the molecular mechanisms regulating metabolism that are involved in the pathogenesis of human diseases. Her current research is focused on how changes in brain metabolism, particularly central lipid and lipoprotein processing, are involved in the neuropathogenesis of brain diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.
Cambier, John, PhDProfessorImmunology & MicrobiologyB-lymphocytes receptors, antigen, B-cell, clonal anergy, signal transduction receptors, IgCThe primary goals of Dr. Cambier's research are to advance our understanding of molecular mechanisms by which autoreactive B cells are silenced to achieve immune tolerance, and how these mechanisms fail in the development of autoimmunity. His work is focused in particular on cell surface receptors and intracellular signaling proteins, and pathways that normally function to maintain B cell anergy. The Cambier Laboratory is currently studying these mechanisms in human lupus, T1D and autoimmune thyroid disease, as well as in mouse models in which the effects of autoimmunity risk alleles can be mimicked by genetic manipulation.
Chan, Christine L, MDAssistant ProfessorPediatrics - EndocrinologyGlucose monitoring, Type 2 diabetes, oral glucose tolerance, prediabetic youth, obese youth, cystic fibrosis, insulin sensitivityDr. Chan’s research in the area of type 2 diabetes screening in obese youth addresses questions surrounding the significance of extrapolating current American Diabetes Association (ADA) screening criteria from adults to youth. Dr. Chan is using continuous glucose monitoring to characterize early glucose abnormalities and their relationship with the oral glucose tolerance test, HbA1c, and alternate glycemic markers – fructosamine, glycated albumin, and 1,5-anhydroglucitol.  A major goal of Dr. Chan’s current research is to understand the impact of early glycemic abnormalities on clinical outcomes, including nutrition and pulmonary function.
Cornier, Marc, MDProfessorMedicine-Endocrinology, Metabolism and DiabetesEnergy intake, obesity, appetite, feeding behavior, hungerThe goal of Dr. Cornier’s research is to investigate the complex regulation of food intake and appetite and the effects of nutritional and exercise interventions on body weight and metabolism. Specifically, his lab has been utilizing fMRI to examine the central brain response to food cues in different obesity phenotypes and in response to interventions such as aerobic and resistance exercise. Dr. Cornier also examines eating behaviors and physiologic signals in these settings.
Dabelea, Dana, MD/PhDProfessorEpidemiologyLifecourse epidemiology, diabetes, obesity, insulin resistance and maternal child healthDr. Dabelea's main research interest is understanding how early life behaviors, environmental exposures and other risk factors operating during fetal or early post-natal life, influence the development of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular outcomes throughout the lifecourse (developmental origins of health and disease). Her experience includes epidemiological studies with community-based and clinic-based sampling, longitudinal follow-up, and extensive sample collection and storage. 
Dai, Shaodong, PhDAssociate professorSOP- Pharmaceutical SciencesCD-4-positive T-lymphocytesThe Dai lab’s research is focused on understanding the mechanisms of autoimmune diseases and will provide the molecular basis upon which we may be able to design therapeutic compounds to prevent or treat these diseases. His lab is studying how post-translational modification (PTM), e.g., peptide fusion, disulfide modification and chemical modifications can create T cell neoantigens in autoimmune diseases. The modified self-peptides create neoantigens and activate pathogenic T cells. These modifications may contribute to the pathogenesis of Type 1 diabetes (T1D). 
Davidson, Howard, PhDAssociate professorPediatrics- Barbara Davis Center Diabetes mellitus, Type 1, beta cells, T cells, autoantibodies, autoantigens The goal of research in the Davidson laboratory is to develop improved biomarkers of type 1 diabetes (T1D), identify new therapeutic targets for the prevention and/or treatment of T1D, and ultimately to translate this research to the clinic. His research focuses on 2 major areas - 1) the immunology of T1D, and 2) the cell biology of pancreatic beta cells, with special emphasis on diabetes autoantigens. Current projects include development of novel bioassays for monitoring disease relevant T-cells in peripheral blood, and analysis of stress-induced changes to the beta cell proteome that may create neo-autoantigens.
Davis, Shanlee, MDAssistant professorPediatrics - EndocrinologyAdiposity in infants, inpatient hypoglycemia prevention, complications of DKA, cardiometabolism in sex chromosome aneupliodiesDr. Davis studies insulin resistance and energy metabolism in children with genetic syndromes that confer an increased risk for type 2 diabetes and similar disorders. In particular, she is interested in the interplay between hypogonadism in these populations, including Klinefelter and Turner syndromes, and the development of insulin resistance. Her current protocols seek to further investigate the non-obesity-related mechanisms that contribute to insulin resistance and the high risk of type 2 diabetes in this population.  She uses novel methods to assess in vivo mitochondrial function in this cohort, with plans to extend to other populations with hypogonadism at high risk for type 2 diabetes.   
Delong, Thomas, PhDAssistant ProfessorImmunology & MicrobiologyAutoantigens, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, islet amyloid polypeptide, diabetes mellitus Type1Dr. Delong is a protein chemist who works on the discovery of autoantigens that are targeted by autoreactive T cells in Type 1 Diabetes (T1D).  In collaboration with researchers at the Barbara Davis Center, Dr. Delong works on the detection of autoantigens in human and murine β-cells, the detection of autoreactive T cells obtained from new onset T1D patients and predisposed individuals, and the mechanism that leads to the formation of modified autoantigens.
Dempsey, Peter, PhDAssociate professorPediatrics- Gastroenterology, Hepatology & NutritionADAM Proteins, amyloid precursor protein secretases, membrane proteins, intercellular signaling peptides & proteinsA major goal of Dr. Dempsey’s diabetes research is to understand how ADAM-mediated signaling events are regulated in pancreatic beta cells during normal homeostasis and upon beta cell stress. The lab is also studying the regulation of enteroendocrine cell programming with the goal of understanding the relationship between specific enteroendocrine progenitors and stem cell maintenance. 
Eckel, Robert, MDProfessorMedicine- CardiologyRelationship between nutrition, insulin action, energy balance and body weight regulation in humans and mice For over three decades Dr. Eckel’s NIH-funded translational research has focused on the pathophysiology and treatment of lipid disorders, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type1 and type 2 diabetes. His lab has used molecular and biochemical tools, tissue culture, calorimetry, diets and euglycemic clamps to study energy intake, energy expenditure, and insulin action on lipid partitioning in humans and genetically-modified mice. A major goal of Dr. Eckel’s current research program is to understand the molecular mechanisms of how processing of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins in the CNS affects systemic glucose metabolism.  
Epperson, Neill, MDProfessor and ChairMedicine- PsychiatrySex difference, reproductive hormones, healthIn her role as Chair of Psychiatry, Dr. Epperson is committed to the advancement of outstanding young investigators involved in psychiatry and neuroscience research, including as it relates to obesity and diabetes. Her particular research focus is the individual and interactive effects of childhood adversity, sex as a biological variable (SABV) and neuroendocrinology on risk and resilience for mood, cognitive and substance use disorders across the lifespan. 
Farnsworth, Nikki, PhDAssistant professorPediatrics- Barbara Davis Center Islets of Langerhans, islet dysfunction, Type 1 diabetes mellitus, beta-cell death, biomaterialsDr. Farnsworth’s research program aims to use biomaterials as a tool to study β-cell dysfunction and death mechanisms in type 1 diabetes. Her goals for current research are to further the understanding of islet dysfunction and death mechanisms during the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes, to understand the role of extracellular matrix interactions in the onset and progression of disease, and to develop therapies which preserve islet function and mass after the onset of disease, using biomaterials as a tool to facilitate this research. 
Forlenza, Greg, MDAssistant professorPediatrics - EndocrinologyInsulin infusion systems, artificial pancreas, hypoglycemia, diabetes mellitus Type 1
The major goal of Dr. Forlenza’s research program is to develop, test, and refine diabetes technology in a translational fashion from engineering theory to clinical applications. Dr. Forlenza works primarily on clinical research involving continuous glucose monitors, insulin pumps, and artificial pancreas systems. Dr. Forlenza recently received a JDRF early career award to study why patients discontinue advanced technology and behavioral interventions to promote sustained use with new technology.
Frank, Daniel, PhDAssociate professorMedicine- Infectious DiseasesGastrointestinal microbiome, microbiota, bacteriaThe primary long-term goal of Dr. Frank’s research program is to understand how commensal communities of microorganisms (the human “microbiome”) and the mucosal immune system interact to either nurture human health or promote disease.  This work uses a variety of culture-based and culture-independent (i.e. DNA/RNA sequence-based “metagenomics”) microbiological methodologies to study the mechanisms by which the human host, and its associated microbial communities, adapt and respond to one another.  
Freed, Brian, PhDProfessorMedicine- Allergy & Clinical ImmunologyHLA-DRB1 chains, T-Lymphocytes, genetic predisposition to diseaseThe major focus of Dr. Freed’s research is the identification of HLA amino acids in autoimmunity and viral immunity, and how these individual residues control the peptide repertoire seen by T cells in diseases such as Type I Diabetes. Currently, his research is focused on dissecting the role of HLA-DR, HLA-DQ and the less studied HLA-DRB3/4/5 alleles by cloning each molecule independently in order to conduct peptide binding assays. These studies may lead to clinical therapies designed to target these crucial residues in order to prevent or halt disease progression.
Friedman, Rachel, PhDAssociate professorImmunology & Microbiology, Barbara Davis CenterT-lymphocytes, antigen-presenting cells, myeloid cells, cell communication, cell movement, autoantigens, in vivo imagingThe focus of Dr. Friedman’s research is to understand how cellular and environmental factors within the pancreatic islets regulate the autoimmune response during type 1 diabetes. Currently much of her research focuses on mechanisms by which islet myeloid cells regulate the autoimmune T cell response with a focus on in vivo readouts such as imaging of cellular dynamics and interactions. 
Frohnert, Brigitte, MD/PhDAssociate professorPediatrics- Barbara Davis Center Islet autoimmunity, Type 1 diabetes, islet autoantibodiesDr. Frohnert has a primary research focus in the area of prediction and prevention of type 1 diabetes. These studies seek to identify modifiable environmental factors, with the hope of decreasing incidence and progression of type 1 diabetes. Dr. Frohnert’s current work includes examining the gene/environment interactions underpinning variable phenotypes of onset of islet autoimmunity and progression to type 1 diabetes. This work includes the analysis of large 'omics data sets to elucidate the heterogeneity of islet autoimmunity in children.
Gavin, Kathleen, PhDAssistant professorMedicine - Geriatric MedicineAdipose tissue, adipocyte lineage, exercise, aging, sex hormonesThe focus of Dr. Gavin’s research is to understand the development of novel populations of adipocytes and how their accumulation may influence the development of chronic diseases in humans with age. Recently, she was involved in work demonstrating that some adipocytes in the major white fat depots of mice and humans are generated from non-resident progenitors arising from hematopoietic cells of the bone marrow, a previously unrecognized origin. Her interest moving forward to is understand how the accumulation of bone marrow derived adipocytes (BMDAs) may be linked to the development of chronic diseases in humans such as Type 2 diabetes.
Getahun, Andrew, PhDResearch Assistant professorImmunology & MicrobiologyB-lymphocyte, b-lymphocyte subsets, immunoglobins, autoimmune disease, autoimmunity, signal transductionA major goal of Dr. Getahun’s research program is to understand the mechanisms by which autoreactive B cells are tolerized in healthy individuals, and to determine the mechanisms by which genetic and environmental factors compromise B cell tolerance in patients developing autoimmune disease, such as Type 1 diabetes. He recently defined several inhibitory signaling feedback loops that are important for maintaining B cell tolerance and is currently studying the influence of known systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) risk alleles on the ability of autoreactive B cells to initiate and maintain these required inhibitory feedback loops. In addition, he has begun studies to determine if these inhibitory feedback loops are important in maintaining tolerance of insulin-specific B cells.
Gill, Ronald, PhDProfessorSurgeryIslets of Langerhans transplantation, graft rejection, homologous transplantation, monoclonal antibodiesDr. Gill’s research program is focused on both the immunobiology of tissue/organ transplantation and autoimmune diabetes.  His primary research focus has especially centered on pancreatic islet transplantation as a treatment for insulin-dependent diabetes.  As such, projects related to islet transplantation cover a range of topics including mechanisms of conventional immune-mediated graft rejection and autoimmune pathogenesis of islet injury.
Gottlieb, Peter, MDProfessorPediatrics- Barbara Davis Center Diabetes mellitus Type 1, insulin, autoantibodies, hypoglycemic agents, insulin-secreting cellsDr. Gottlieb has worked in the fields of autoimmunity, type 1 diabetes, and other endocrine disorders (Addison’s Disease and APS2) for over 25 years.  His research initially focused on the role of T cells in mediating autoimmunity, but has expanded to appreciate the diverse immune and metabolic processes which underlie the development of autoimmunity and subsequent end-organ failure.  Recently, his interests have become more translational, with a focus on clinical trials as a means to better understand and treat the autoimmune condition at the heart of these disorders. 
Green, Melanie Cree, MD, PhDAssociate ProfessorPediatrics - Endocrinologyhepatic metabolism, Insulin resistance, mitochondria, muscle, polycystic ovary syndrome, Dr. Cree-Green’s research involves deep phenotyping of youth who are at risk for type 2 diabetes, including obese youth, youth with disordered sleep patterns or poor sleep quality, and girls with polycystic ovarian syndrome. She utilizes stable isotope methodology and magnetic response spectroscopy to probe mechanisms of insulin resistance in adipose, hepatic and muscle tissues. Dr. Cree-Green’s primary goal is to utilize minimally invasive techniques to understand the pathophysiology of PCOS, and to translate this knowledge into improved approaches to the evaluation/treatment of girls with PCOS who are at high risk for development of diabetes and fatty liver disease. 
Gutierrez-Colina, Ana, PhDAssistant ProfessorEndocrinology (CHCO), Human Dev & Family Studies (Colorado State University)T2D, health behavior, adherence, underserved, teens, interventionDr. Gutierrez-Colina is a health behavior research scientist, with expertise in pediatric adherence and health self-management. Broadly, her programmatic line of research is focused on health promotion and self-management in youth with and at risk for chronic disease and associated comorbidities. Dr. Gutierrez-Colina's interests lie at the intersection of neurobehavioral and contextual factors that underlie mechanisms related to health behavior and health behavior change, particularly among minoritized youth disproportionally affected by adversity. She is particularly interested in the role of modifiable adherence barriers and how they can be effectively altered through tailored behavioral interventions to improve youth's well-being and health outcomes.
Haskins, Katie, PhDProfessorImmunology & MicrobiologyAutoantigens, Diabetes Mellitus Type 1, CD4-Positive T-lymphocytes, Inbred NOD mice, islets of LangerhansThe overall research focus of the Haskins laboratory over the past 25 years has been the investigation of pathogenic and regulatory processes mediated by CD4 T cells in type 1 diabetes (T1D), and the identification of new autoantigens for diabetogenic T cells. Recent progress has led to the successful identification of two new secretory granule proteins as autoantigens for CD4 T cells: chromogranin A (ChgA) and islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP). In addition, the Haskin’s lab is developing new hybrid peptide tetramer reagents to detect autoreactive T cells, and investigating whether hybrid peptides could be used to induce antigen-specific tolerance. Current goals involve moving these studies into the translational arena to identify and characterize autoreactive T cells in human subjects with T1D. 
Hernandez, Teri, PhD/RNProfessor, Associate Dean for Research and ScholarshipNursing, Medicine/EndocrinologyGestational diabetes, nutrition therapy, blood glucose, glycemic index, fat-restricted dietDr. Hernandez has a vision to advance clinical care in the prevention of cardiovascular disease and diabetes in women and their families.  She has a broad interest in women’s health and a particular interest in the physiology of insulin resistance, as both an adaptive mechanism and as pathology, and in its evolution as a determinant of long-term health. She seeks to establish clinical investigations across the lifespan in women and their offspring to better understand insulin resistance, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease risk.  She has focused on glucose and lipid metabolism during pregnancy and understanding in-utero programming influences, such as diet, that enhance or attenuate CVD and diabetes risk. Aspects of cardiovascular disease and diabetes risk that are of special interest include insulin resistance, gestational diabetes, lipids and lipid metabolism, obesity and fat metabolism. 
Holers, Michael, MD


Professor and ChairMedicine- RheumatologyComplement 3d receptors, rheumatoid arthritis, experimental arthritis, complement receptors, autoantibodiesA major goal of Dr. Holers’ research program is to understand the shared molecular mechanisms and biomarker patterns that underlie the development of human rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) and other autoimmune diseases in order to develop screening and prevention strategies. Dr. Holers’ laboratory is exploring the early mechanisms that underlie the loss of self- tolerance in RA, with the goal of expanding those approaches to T1D and other autoimmune diseases.
Holtrop, Jodi, PhD, MCHESProfessor and Vice Chair for ResearchFamily MedicineDelivery of diabetes care in primary care; obesity management; implementation of health promotion in health care settingsThe major goal of Dr. Holtrop’s research is to improve health care delivery with a focus on integrating health promotion, health behavior change, and preventive care in primary care. Health conditions of particular interest include obesity and type 2 diabetes prevention and management. Dr. Holtrop is a health services researcher and implementation scientist with expertise in qualitative and mixed methods research; she contributes this expertise to working with a wide variety of researchers as they seek to effectively implement evidence-based interventions into practice.
Hsieh, Elena, MDAssistant professorPediatrics - Allergy & ImmunologyT1D cognate interactions between insulin reactive T and B cellsDr. Hsieh’s overall goal is to understand mechanisms of pathogenesis in patients with autoimmunity. In particular, she is interested in identifying and targeting dysregulated signaling pathways and cytokine networks in autoimmunity for therapeutic and/or prognostic clinical applications. Particularly she is interested in systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) and type 1 diabetes (T1D).  In T1D, she is interested in understanding immune interactions between antigen specific T and B cells, macrophages, dendritic cells, and other cells resident in pancreatic lymph nodes and spleen of T1D patients.  She hopes to understand these organ-specific immune interactions in the context of peripheral blood biomarkers, which will ultimately lead to improved diagnostic, prognostic and treatment options.
Huebschmann, Amy, MDAssociate professorMedicine- Internal Medicine
Exercise, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, Dr. Huebschmann’s early areas of research into physical activity barriers and cardiovascular abnormalities for people with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) have naturally led to her current focus- increased physical activity for chronically diseased patient populations.  As patient-centered medical homes are emerging as the new standard in patient care, researchers and health systems need to develop innovative methods to bring value to healthcare for patients with chronic diseases.  The overarching goal of this line of inquiry is to optimize evidence-based interventions that have been effective to improve chronic diseases in RCTs, and to adapt those interventions to be feasible for delivery in patient-centered medical homes.  Dr. Huebschmann also seeks to develop methods to deliver these types of interventions in community health settings, and has developed and published pilot work with our local African-American community.
Hunter, Kendall, PhDAssociate professorBioengineeringPulmonary hypertension, cardiovascular modelsDr. Hunter’s (he/his/him) interests lie in cardiac and pulmonary imaging diagnostics, and he currently focuses on examining the development, diagnosis, and progression of cardiac and vascular dysfunction in diabetes. Of particular interest in Dr. Hunter’s work is early data on type 1 diabetes (T1D) in children demonstrating the significantly greater sensitivity of aortic wall shear stress as a measure of flow disturbance. Additionally, several other flow parameters (vorticity, helicity) have shown promise as early detectors of left ventricular dysfunction. Future work is to further develop technology (analysis pipeline and software) and apply it to analysis of MR images from an adult type 2 diabetic population. 
Iyer, Srividhya, PhDAssistant ProfessorOrthopedicsskeletal homeostasis, ER stressResearch in Dr. Iyer’s laboratory is focused on role of  endoplasmic reticulum (ER) health and unfolded protein response (UPR) in maintaining skeletal homeostasis. Using a combination of conditional mice knockouts, skeletal architecture analysis and microscopy based imaging of skeletal tissues in addition to invitro systems we delineate the mechanistic basis of how these processes are dysregulated in pathologic bone loss.
Jansson, Thomas, MD/PhDProfessorOB/GYN Reproductive SciencesGestational diabetes, fetal programming of obesity and diabetesEmerging evidence suggests that changes in placental function determines life-long health, including the risk of developing obesity and T2D later in life,  and Dr. Jansson's research program is focused on determining the mechanistic links underpinning these associations. In addition, his lab is exploring the role placental small extracellular vesicles (‘exosomes”) in modulating maternal glucose homeostasis in normal pregnancy and in mediating the development of gestational diabetes. 

Jacobelli, Jordan, PhD

Associate professorImmunology & MicrobiologyCytoskeleton, immune cell migration, type 1 DiabetesDr. Jacobelli's laboratory is interested in understanding how a network of proteins called the cytoskeleton regulates the migration and cell-cell interactions of lymphocytes. His main research focus is on mouse models of autoimmunity, and type 1 diabetes in particular. His work is aimed at understanding the mechanisms by which specific cytoskeletal molecules promote lymphocyte exit from the blood flow, infiltration into the pancreas, and pathogenesis. His long-term goal is to inhibit the pathogenic potential of autoreactive lymphocytes in type 1 diabetes.
Kahn, Michael, MD/PhDProfessorPediatrics - Clinical InformaticsData Analysis for clinical research studies and emergency medical recordsDr. Kahn is the translational informatics core director for the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute, responsible for implementing and supporting translational research informatics systems and services for the University of Colorado Denver and Boulder campuses and five affiliated institutions. He has significant experience in large scale data networks, data harmonization and database integration across multiple institutions. He has established an international reputation in the design and implementation of common data models and data quality assessment oversight programs.
Kappler, John, PhDProfessorImmunology & MicrobiologyT-lymphocytes receptors, antigen, T-cell, alpha-beta, histocompatibility antigens class IIDr. Kappler has spent the last 10 years studying the nature of epitopes in insulin and chromogranin A (ChgA) that drive the CD4 T cells that drive T1 Diabetes.  Work in the Kappler laboratory has established that native insulin and ChgA peptides are are modified in a reverse-proteolytic process known as transpeptidation to create epitopes for human CD4 T cells isolated from T1D patients.  The “super-agonists” created by these modifications provide a set of reagents for the detection and expansion of human and mouse insulin-specific CD4 T cells. The Kappler lab continues to pursue the mechanisms underlying these protein modifications.
Kelsey, Megan, MDAssociate professorPediatrics - EndocrinologyInsulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, glycated hemoglobin A, pediatric obesityDr. Kelsey’s long-term goal is to make a significant contribution to improvement of targeted strategies to prevent youth-onset type 2 diabetes. She has a broad background in obesity and obesity related disorders, focusing specifically on insulin resistance and related metabolic disorders during her pediatric endocrinology fellowship. Her current research involves investigation of metabolic and hormonal changes during puberty on the development of cardiometabolic diseases, particularly in obese youth. 
Klemm, Dwight, PhDProfessorMedicine- PulmonaryAdiposity, adipose tissue, pulmonary arteryThe Klemm laboratory is challenging the paradigm that all new adipocytes are generated from preadipocytes or progenitor cells that reside within fat tissue, and testing the hypothesis that stem cells from bone marrow may serve a source for new fat cells.  His group has demonstrated that some new fat cells are produced from bone marrow stem cells via myeloid intermediates, and accumulate over time in a depot- and gender-specific manner.  The differential accumulation of bone marrow-derived adipocytes may explain, in part, why fat in different parts of the body behaves differently, and why fat in the deep abdomen is linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.  
Knight, Jefferson, PhDAssociate professorChemistryLiposomes, insulin, insulin-secreting cells, diabetes mellitus, type 2Dr. Knight’s research investigates molecular mechanisms of protein-lipid interaction, with a major focus on proteins that are central to the pathway of insulin secretion. His lab uses spectroscopic, biochemical, and single-molecule approaches to determine lipid preferences, membrane affinities, kinetics, and structures of membrane-bound proteins. He is particularly interested in how these secretory proteins are impacted by changes in membrane composition and protein structure that accompany long-term changes in type 2 diabetes and beta cell deterioration.  
MacLean, Paul, PhDProfessorMedicine- Endocrinology, Metabolism and DiabetesObesity, weight gain, weight loss, energy metabolism, dietary fatsDr. MacLean’s research has focused on the metabolic complications of obesity, diabetes, and the therapeutic strategies that facilitate long term weight loss maintenance.  In recent years, Dr. MacLean’s efforts have centered on how obesity and diabetes affect critical aspects of women’s health throughout the lifespan, including the development and function of the mammary gland, perinatal programming, the menopausal transition, and risk for breast cancer. His research program takes an integrative perspective on the wealth of knowledge generated from mechanistic basic science studies of energy balance and serves as a translational bridge for this information to improve our understanding of human physiology.
McManaman, James, PhDProfessorOB/GYN- Reproductive ServicesObesity, lipid metabolism, membrane proteinsResearch efforts in the McManaman laboratory focus on the molecular mechanisms regulating lipid storage, trafficking, and metabolism, and how dysregulation of these processes contributes to obesity and metabolic diseases, including type-2 diabetes. His lab has developed multiple mouse models of lipid storage and secretion that have uncovered novel tissue and innate immune cell responses that impact obesity and insulin sensitivity. 
Melanson, Ed, PhD
ProfessorMedicine- Endocrinology, Metabolism and DiabetesEnergy metabolism, exercise, calorimetry, dietary fats, oxygen consumptionEdward Melanson PhD, is a Professor of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes, with a secondary appointment in the Division of Geriatrics.  Dr. Melanson’s interests are on the effects of diet, exercise, and obesity on substrate metabolism and energy expenditure. 
Messer, Laurel, PhD/RNAssistant ProfessorPediatrics-Barbara Davis CenterDiabetes mellitus Type 1, diabetes technology, hybrid closed-loop systemsDr. Messer is a research investigator with the PANTHER (Practical AdvaNced THERapies for Diabetes) research program at the BDC, conducting numerous clinical research studies related to insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors (CGM), and automated insulin delivery/closed-loop systems. Her research interests include factors related to uptake and ongoing use of diabetes technology in individuals with type 1 diabetes. Her current DRC funded work focuses on developing novel behavioral nudge interventions to help adolescents with type 1 diabetes achieve better glycemic outcomes with hybrid closed-loop systems.
Michels, Aaron, MDAssociate professorPediatrics- Barbara Davis Center Diabetes mellitus Type 1, insulin, autoantigens, antigen T-cell receptors, programmed cell death 1 receptorDr. Michels’ laboratory investigates the immunology of autoimmune diseases, with a particular focus on type 1 diabetes. Over the last several years, the Michels group has investigated the structural immunology of autoantigen presentation to T cell receptors, and used this structural immunology knowledge to develop a novel research area with small molecules targeted to MHC class II antigen presentation. Another area of interest for Dr. Michels is to understand the role of MHC class II alleles in predisposing and providing dominant protection from type 1 diabetes development. 
Nadeau, Kristen, MDProfessorPediatrics - EndocrinologyInsulin resistance, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes mellitus, obesity, glycated hemoglobin A Dr. Nadeau is a pediatric endocrinologist focused on reducing the long-term complications of youth-onset type 1 (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D), with an emphasis on similarities/differences between the mechanisms of insulin resistance (IR) in T1D vs. T2D, as well as early cardiopulmonary, hepatic, muscle, renal and β-cell dysfunction in youth with diabetes. Her current focus is on local and multi-center interventions to reduce complications of obesity and diabetes by addressing exercise and cardiovascular dysfunction, insulin resistance, and β-cell failure in youth and adults. She also collaborates with nephrologists on understanding mechanisms underlying diabetic kidney disease. 
Nakayama, Maki, MD/PhDAssociate professorPediatrics- Barbara Davis Center Insulin, autoantigens, Type 1 diabetes mellitus, peptide fragments, CD4-positive T-lymphocytesThe primary focus of Dr. Nakayama’s laboratory is to elucidate the mechanism by which anti-islet autoimmunity causing type 1 diabetes (T1D) is initiated, from the point of view of the tri-molecular complex consisting of antigen, major histocompatibility complex (MHC), and T cell receptor (TCR) that could be a key component for the development of T1D.  Current projects include (1) identifying TCR sequences of T cells infiltrating pancreatic islets of T1D organ donors, (2) identifying antigen specificity of islet T cells, and (3) pursuing the potential of TCR sequences to be used as T cell biomarker to predict the T1D development. 
Nicklas, Jacinda, MD/MPHAssistant professorMedicine- Internal MedicineGestational diabetes, postpartum period, life style, Type 2 diabetes mellitusThe main focus of Dr. Nicklas’ research is the prevention of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity, with a particular focus on postpartum women. Her early research focused on acclimatization to high altitude in women over the menstrual cycle and several studies looked at obesity in men and women, including a study in NHANES looking at weight loss among obese Americans and a study looking at the impact of weight loss on levels of C-reactive protein. Dr. Nicklas has also developed an innovative mobile health program called Fit After Baby, designed for postpartum women at elevated risk for diabetes and heart disease.
Nokoff, Natalie, MDAssistant professorPediatrics - EndocrinologyGlucose metabolismThe main focus of Dr. Nokoff’s research is to understand the impact of gender-affirming hormone therapy (gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues [GnRHa], testosterone or estradiol) on cardiometabolic health in transgender adolescents. Her long-term goal is to better understand how the balance of sex hormones in the body impacts insulin sensitivity and cardiometabolic health to improve outcomes for transgender individuals.
Norman, Paul, PhDAssociate ProfessorMedicine- Immunology, Personalized MedicineHLA, MHC Evolution, Natural Killer cells, Immune-mediated diseasesDr. Norman researches immunogenetics, with a focus is human Natural Killer (NK) cells, which spontaneously recognize and kill infected or tumorous cells. NK cells are thus very strong candidates for use in cell-mediated immune therapy for cancer and autoimmunity. His group studies the co-evolution of the HLA molecules that are expressed by healthy cells, and the KIR, which are NK cell receptors that interact with HLA to control immune cell activity.
Norris, Jill, PhDProfessor and ChairEpidemiologyAutoimmunity, diabetes mellitus, type 1, autoantibodies, islets of Langerhans, arthritis, rheumatoidDr. Norris’ research has focused on the relationship between environment and the development of autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes (T1D), celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus in genetically susceptible individuals.  Her work is focused on the role of maternal, infant, childhood and adult dietary factors and the etiology of T1D, using metabolomics, epigenomics and microbiome studies in large, at-risk populations. It is hoped that these studies may shed light on the long-standing issue of the relationship between genes and environment in the development of autoimmune diseases. 
Oser, Tamara, MDAssociate Professor and Director of the High Plains Research NetworkFamily Medicinetype 1 diabetes mellitus, type 2 diabetes mellitus, peer support, continuous glucose monitoring, closed-loop system, primary care, lifestyle interventions, self-management, rural, educationDr. Oser’s research is focused on how to best incorporate diabetes technologies into primary care, the use of peer support to supplement diabetes care, and developing and testing new interventions to help people with diabetes in their self-management that can be implemented into primary care. In her role as Director of the High Plains Research Network, she is committed to reducing disparities in diabetes care and developing culturally relevant resources and care for people with diabetes living in rural settings.
Pelanda, Roberta, PhDProfessorImmunology & MicrobiologyMolecular mechanisms of immune tolerance, immunology, rheumatology, pediatric gastroenterologyA major goal of Dr. Pelanda’s research program is to understand how B cells contribute to autoimmune responses, including type 1 diabetes (T1D). Her laboratory is exploring how and why central B cell tolerance is subverted in some autoimmune individuals, and the contribution of bone marrow-generated autoreactive B cells to autoimmunity. The Pelanda lab is working to identify the signals that cause the entry of bone marrow autoreactive B cells into the circulation and the role these cells play in T1D and other diseases using a novel humanized mouse model, developed by Dr. Pelanda and colleagues.
Polsky, Sarit, MDAssistant professorPediatrics- Barbara Davis Center Pregnancy in diabetes, insulin infusion systems, blood glucose, Type 1 diabetes mellitus, blood glucose self-monitoringDr. Polsky’s research focuses on 3 main targets areas: 1) advanced diabetes technologies and therapeutics to investigate newly developed insulins, continuous glucose monitoring systems, insulin pumps, and artificial pancreas technologies; 2) therapies to improve diabetes complications; 3) research focusing on women’s health and diabetes. She particularly examines how advanced diabetes technologies affect glycemic indices and gestational outcomes in pregnant women with T1DM.
Pugazhenthi, Subbiah, PhDAssociate professorMedicine- Endocrinology, Metabolism and DiabetesMitochondrial dysfunction, diabetes mellitus, insulin-secreting cellsThe main focus of Dr. Pugazhenthi’s research program is regulation of gene expression during apoptosis, a programmed cell death pathway. His goal is to identify potential therapeutic targets in growth factor-mediated cell survival pathways. Specifically, his lab is interested in the cytoprotective actions of the transcription factor, CREB in insulin-producing beta cells in diabetes and in neurons of Alzheimer’s brain. His lab is also focusing on the cross-talk between peripheral and central inflammation.
Pyle, Laura, PhDAssociate professorPediatrics, Biostatistics and InformaticsBiostatistics, Diabetes mellitus Type 1 and 2, insulin resistance, blood glucose, diabetic nephropathiesThe overall focus of Dr. Pyle’s research is the application of novel statistical methodology to questions related to diabetes (type 1 and 2), obesity, and related conditions and comorbidities, particularly in children and adolescents.  She has extensive experience in the design, operation, and analysis of longitudinal clinical trials and epidemiologic studies. She has developed new statistical methods for analysis of data from hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamps with isotope tracers, used to measure insulin resistance in particular tissues.  
Raghavan, Sridharan, MD/PhDAssistant professorMedicine-Hospital Medicine, Biomedical Informatics and Personalized Medicine, Rocky Mountain VA Medical CenterBioinformatics, personalized medicine, genetic data repositories, cardiovascular disease

Dr. Raghavan is a hospitalist whose research focuses on precision medicine applied to the prevention and treatment of obesity, diabetes, and their complications, particularly cardiovascular disease. He is interested in leveraging electronic health record data and genetic data to identify novel risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases, and to build risk models optimized to the real-world patient population of a health system to guide individualized targeting of preventive and treatment interventions for obesity, diabetes, and diabetes complications.

Rasouli, Neda, MDAssociate professorMedicine- Endocrinology, Metabolism and DiabetesInsulin resistance, adipose tissue, hypoglycemic agents, obesity, diabetes mellitus Type 1 and 2Dr Rasouli is the director of the Diabetes and Endocrinology clinical trial program. Her focus is on investigation of optimal treatment of patients with diabetes and metabolic disorders associated with obesity. Her research interests also include study of the pathophysiology of insulin resistance, particularly molecular mechanisms involved in adipose tissue inflammation and lipotoxicty associated with obesity and insulin resistance.
Regensteiner, Judith, PhDProfessorMedicine- Internal MedicineDiabetes mellitus Type 2, exercise, exercise therapy, peripheral vascular diseasesThe Regensteiner lab is focused on characterizing and targeting the mechanisms that lead to decreased maximal exercise capacity and slowed exercise kinetics in diabetic patients. Their group has found that this defect is present not only in adults and adolescents with T2D, but also in those with type 1 diabetes (T1D), particularly women. Their studies point to a role for decreased tissue oxygen delivery in the exercise impairment of T2D, offering a potentially target for therapeutic treatment to improve exercise function.
Reis, Tania, PhDAssociate professorMedicine- Endocrinology, Metabolism and DiabetesGenetic Basis of Obesity and Neuronal Control of Energy Balance in Drosophila melanogasterThe Reis lab focus is on uncovering the genetic and neuronal basis of obesity. They are applying genetics, molecular biology and biochemistry techniques as well as behavioral analysis to identify and characterize neuronal and genetic factors controlling organismal fat storage using Drosophila melanogaster as a model system. Ongoing projects in the lab involve the role and mechanism of how RNA-binding proteins regulate organismal fat, and fat regulatory role of specific neuronal regions of the brain independent of metabolic behaviors (feeding and physical activity).
Reusch, Jane, MDProfessor


Medicine- Endocrinology, Metabolism and DiabetesDiabetes mellitus Type 2, mitochondria muscle, cyclic AMP response element-binding proteinThe overarching theme of Dr. Reusch’s basic and clinical-translational research is that chronic metabolic, oxidative, and inflammatory stresses associated with diabetes decrease homeostasis, which in turn, contributes to diabetic complications. The long-term goal of the Reusch group is to develop a combination of behavioral and pharmacological therapies to normalize cardiovascular function and fitness for people with diabetes.
Rewers, Marian, MD/PhDProfessorExecutive Director- Barbara Davis Center Diabetes mellitus Type 1, autoimmunity, autoantibodies, islets of Langerhans, celiac diseaseThe epidemiology and etiology of type 1 diabetes is Dr. Rewers’ primary area of research, with the goal to identify environmental causes of autoimmune diabetes and to translate these findings to prevention. Additional active areas of research include celiac disease and complications of diabetes. He directs a large NIH-funded cohort Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young (DAISY) and co-chairs the multicenter consortium The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY). He is directing a general population screening for pre-symptomatic type 1 diabetes and celiac disease (ASK) funded by the JDRF and Helmsley Trust to facilitate prevention and most effective early treatment for these disorders.
Roark, Christina, PhDAssistant professorMedicine- Allergy & Clinical ImmunologyT-lymphocyte subsets, HLA-DRB1 chains, receptors, antigen, t-cell, gamma-deltaDr. Roark’s laboratory research is focused on better understanding the molecular mechanisms behind the strong association between HLA and many autoimmune diseases. They have developed a computer program that analyzes millions of shared epitopes comprising one to five non-contiguous amino acids between control and patient groups. This analysis has identified critical amino acid epitopes that are shared between disparate alleles that are strongly associated with either susceptibility or resistance to Type I diabetes. They have performed mutagenesis studies to dissect how these critical residues influence peptide binding and presentation to autoreactive T cells.
Rozance, Paul, MDProfessorPediatrics - Neonatal Medicine Glucose, insulin, fetus, islet IUGR, insulin secretionDr. Rozance’s research is focused on the impact of fetal nutrient and growth restriction on the function and development of the endocrine pancreas and other organs. He focuses on the mechanisms by which the fetus adapts to intrauterine growth restriction by altering insulin secretion and glucose metabolism, and how these adaptations predispose the fetus to adult onset diseases like diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Investigations by the Rozance group include studies of glucose tolerance in fetuses in vivo, as well as ex vivo measurement of insulin secretion, biosynthesis and metabolism on isolated sheep islets. 
Sandoval, Darleen, PhDProfessor

Pediatrics-Nutrition Section,

Medicine-Endocrinology, Metabolism and Diabetes

GLP-1, bariatric surgery, energy homeostasis, lipid homeostasis, type 2 diabetesDr. Sandoval's current work utilizes basic research strategies to focus on two general themes of research. The first goal is to gain understanding on the role of a gastrointestinal peptide, GLP-1, in the gut-brain axis to regulate energy and glucose homeostasis. The second is to gain understanding on the adaptations of the gut-brain axis with bariatric surgery and how this leads to the profound weight-loss and improvements in glucose and lipid homeostasis seen with these surgeries. Both research themes use a combination of molecular and physiological techniques with the goal of generating better therapeutic options for obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Sán Millan, Iñigo, PhDAssistant ProfessorMedicine-Endocrinology, Metabolism and DiabetesExercise physiology, mitochondrial function, bioenergeticsDr. Sán Millan's research focuses on the role of mitochondrial function and bioenergetics in health and disease. For 25 years, he has been working with world class athletes who possess the most advanced metabolism and mitochondrial function. His approach is to use the lessons learned from athletes and apply them to the better understanding of metabolic diseases as well as developing clinical programs.
Scalzo, Rebecca, PhDAssistant professorMedicine- Endocrinology, Metabolism and DiabetesGlucose tolerance test, glucose, insulin, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, exercise , sex differencesDr. Scalzo is interested in the impact of type 2 diabetes on skeletal muscle mitochondrial content and function and how changes in mitochondria with diabetes affect cardiorespiratory fitness. She is particularly interested in determining how type 2 diabetes affects these outcomes differently in women and men. Currently, Dr. Scalzo is addressing the effect of type 2 diabetes on estrogen-mediated support of skeletal muscle mitochondrial content and function with her VA Career Development Award (VA-CDA2). 
Schauer, Irene, MD/PhDAssociate professorMedicine- Endocrinology, Metabolism and DiabetesExercise, metabolism, insulin management,  insulin clamp technique, insulin resistance, hyperinsulinismThe goal of Dr. Schauer’s research is understand the causes and consequences of insulin resistance, in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and to take this knowledge “to the bedside” to achieve improved management of the macrovascular complications of diabetes. She is currently using state-of-the-art high resolution mitochondrial respirometry techniques, as well as vascular studies, hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamps with tracers, and our new MRS methodology for in vivo mitochondrial function measurements in physiological studies aimed at measurement of the effects of existing diabetes medications on glucose control, insulin sensitivity, and vascular and mitochondrial function in T1D.
Shah, Viral, MDAssociate ProfessorPediatrics- Barbara Davis Center Type 1 diabetes, diabetes technologies and bone healthDr. Shah’s professional research career focuses on two areas 1) the use of diabetes technologies to improve glycemic outcomes where he has been the principal investigators on many clinical trials, and 2) understanding mechanisms of bone fragility in patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Dr. Shah' previous research showed 3-4 fold increased in risk for fragility fractures in people with T1D compared to peers without diabetes.  
Shen, Jingshi, PhDProfessorUCB- Molecular, Cellular & Developmental BiologyInsulin response in adipocytes and musclesA major function of insulin is to promote glucose uptake into muscle and adipose tissues, a process mediated by the glucose transporter GLUT4. Upon insulin stimulation, GLUT4 is relocated from intracellular storage vesicles to the cell surface through regulated exocytosis. Dr. Shen has developed new tools to unravel the protein-protein networks governing insulin-regulated GLUT4 exocytosis. 
Simmons, Kimber, MDAssistant professorPediatrics - EndocrinologyDiabetes mellitus Type 1, autoantiboides, insulin-secreting cells, insulin antibodies, dried blood spot testingDr. Simmons’s primary focus is to understand mechanisms of T1D disease heterogeneity by studying diverse populations for immunologic, genetic and metabolic factors that allow for T1D development. Dr. Simmons developed methodology to measure all four islet autoantibodies (Ab), notably insulin autoantibody, from a dried blood spot (DBS) on filter paper. Dr. Simmons uses the DBS methodology to screen children in the general population for T1D and to better characterize diabetes in under-resourced countries in collaboration with Life for a Child ( to determine the prevalence of Ab positivity in new and recent-onset cases of childhood and youth diabetes.
Simon, Stacey, PhDAssociate professorPediatrics - Pulmonary MedicineInsulin resistance, chronic disease, sleep, circadian rhythmsDr. Simon’s research is focused on mechanisms underlying the negative cardiometabolic consequences of insufficient sleep and circadian misalignment in adolescents, particularly those with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This research is laying the foundation for the development of sleep and circadian health intervention with a goal of improving health outcomes including insulin resistance and glycemic control in youth with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. 
Sirlanci, Melike  PhDAssistant ProfessorDivision of Information & Data Sciencetype 2 diabetes, physiology-based mechanistic models, machine learningThe overarching goal of Dr. Sirlanci's research is to investigate problems arising in biomedicine using mathematics-based
methodologies, which consists of data assimilation (DA) techniques, which are used for inference, forecasting,
and control of the systems whose dynamics could be described by physiology-based mechanistic models, and
machine learning (ML) methods, which are used for similar purposes within more data-rich environments
especially when a mechanistic model of the system of interest is not available
Smith, Mia, PhD/DVMInstructorPediatrics- Barbara Davis Center B-lymphocytes, prediabetic state, autoimmunity, autoantibodies, clonal anergyThe main focus of Dr. Smith’s research is in understanding how self-reactive B cells contribute to development of autoimmunity, particularly in human type 1 diabetes patients. Current studies are aimed at exploring whether B cells from FDRs who carry the diabetes associated PTPN2 SNP show changes in activation and are hyperresponsive to stimulation immediately ex vivo. In addition, her research is also focused on comparing the phenotype and function of B cells during development of early onset T1D and late onset T1D using mass cytometry (CyTOF). 
Snell-Bergeon, Janet, PhDAssociate professorPediatrics- Barbara Davis Center Diabetes mellitus Type 1, coronary artery disease, diabetic angiopthies, diabetic nephropathy, vascular calcificationDr. Snell-Bergeon’s primary area of interest is in the prevention of cardiovascular and renal complications of type 1 diabetes, and identifying the mechanisms for sex differences in these complications. She has considerable experience conducting epidemiologic studies of vascular health and complications in type 1 diabetes. 
Sokol, Ronald, MDProfessor and Vice ChairPediatrics

parenteral nutrition associated liver disease, 

gut-liver axis, clinical and translational research
Dr. Sokol's current laboratory-based research investigates the pathogenesis of parenteral nutrition associated cholestasis and steatosis liver disease (also called intestinal failure associated liver disease; IFALD).  His lab has developed a novel mouse model that combines intestinal injury with total parenteral nutrition that mimics the pathophysiology in humans and has shown that the gut-liver axis is a key component as well as toxicity from plant sterols that are contained in the parenterally administered plant-based lipid emulsions. He is are also very interested in understanding the role of GLP-1 agonists in the possible resolution of this liver disease. He is also involved in a number of clinical research projects investigating obesity associated NAFLD in adolescents and the role of exosomes in mediating cellular cross-talk that initiates the liver injury and fibrosis.
Steck, Andrea, MDAssociate professorPediatrics- Barbara Davis Center Type 1 diabetes prediction, islet autoantibodies, ECL assays, genetic risk for T1D, islet autoimmunityDr. Steck’s primary research focus is in the area of epidemiology, immunogenetics, prediction and prevention of type 1 diabetes. Her research interest and expertise include work with large longitudinal prospective studies such as DAISY (Diabetes Autoimmunity Study in the Young), TEDDY (The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in the Young), TrialNet and the Twin Family Study. She is the Colorado PI for several multisite clinical research trials in type 1 diabetes prevention and intervention through both Industry and NIH TrialNet.  
Sussel, Lori, PhDProfessor and Research DirectorPediatrics- Barbara Davis Center Islets of Langerhans, insulin-secreting cells, pancreas, transcription factors, homeodomain proteinsThe main focus of Dr. Sussel’s research is to understand the complex transcriptional networks that regulate development, differentiation and function of the pancreatic islet.  Currently, her research addresses issues relating to the regulation of beta cell identity and function with a specific focus on how disruption of transcription factors and long non-coding RNA activity contribute to type 1 and type 2 diabetes. 
Tommerdahl, Kalie, MDInstructorPediatrics-EndocrinologyType 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, insulin resistance, diabetic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes technologies, pharmacologic therapiesDr. Tommerdahl’s research focuses on reducing kidney and cardiovascular complications in youth-onset diabetes, with an emphasis on modifying existing insulin resistance, endothelial and vascular dysfunction, renal vascular resistance, and supraphysiologic insulin exposure. Dr. Tommerdahl’s overall goal is to identify novel, synergistic therapeutic treatment regimens including diabetes technologies and pharmacologic therapies to impede the development of diabetic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease in youth with type 1 diabetes and eventually apply this knowledge to individuals of all ages and types of diabetes.
Triolo, Taylor, MDAssistant professorPediatrics - Endocrinology & Barbara Davis CenterAutoimmune diseases, diabetes mellitus Type 1, autoantibodiesThe main focus of Dr. Triolo’s research is to merge clinical investigation with basic science research strategies in the field of type 1 diabetes.  Her clinical research has focused on understanding the development of autoantibodies and progression to type 1 diabetes and preventing progression to type 1 diabetes.  Her basic science research is focused on the role of high risk type 1 diabetes genes in human beta cell function.  
Wadwa, Paul, MDProfessorPediatrics- Barbara Davis Center Diabetes mellitus Type 1, cardiovascular diseases, insulin infusion systems, blood glucose, blood glucose self-monitoringDr. Wadwa serves as the Medical Director of the Pediatric division and Director of Telemedicine at the Barbara Davis Center. His primary research focus is on the development of the artificial pancreas. He serves as the site PI or co-investigator for three UC4 funded artificial pancreas studies, several industry sponsored clinical trials, and several NIH-sponsored and industry- sponsored clinical research studies to advance artificial pancreas technology. Dr. Wadwa is also engaged in clinical trials of new therapeutic agents and the effects of a telemedicine program on glycemic control in type 1 diabetes. 
Kristen Wells, PhDResearch Assistant ProfessorPediatrics - Barbara Davis CenterBioinformatics, cell communication, gene regulation, T1D and T2DDr. Kristen Wells' research focuses on using bioinformatics to analyzing cutting-edge sequencing data generated from both islet endocrine cells and immune cells.  She uses these datasets to answer questions relating transcriptional networks regulating development and function of beta cells, interaction between immune cells in the islet, and learning the role of self-reactive B cells in the development of diabetes. She is primarily interested in building analysis pipelines for analyzing the data generated from novel sequencing techniques and developing robust pipelines that efficiently analyze data in a reproducible way.
Wesolowski, Stephanie, PhDAssociate professorPediatrics - NeonatologyDevelopmental programming, hepatic glucose production, NAFLD, insulin sensitivityDr. Wesolowski’s lab studies how altered nutrient supply programs fetal metabolism, and how these changes may persist after birth and increase susceptibility to adult metabolic disease, including type II diabetes.  Her research investigates mechanisms of early activation of fetal hepatic glucose production and development of hepatic insulin resistance, and the role of reduced glucose versus oxygen supply to the fetus, both key features of placental insufficiency and resulting IUGR. Dr. Wesolowski also studies the effects of maternal high fat diet and obesity on offspring metabolism and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).  
White, Alicia, MDInstructorPediatrics - NeonatologyNeonatal-perinatal, IGF-1, Beta Cells, GSIS, Maternal diabetes, neonatal diabetesDr. White studies the fetal pancreas and its hormonal influence on growth and metabolism. Recognizing the complex interactions between fetal insulin and IGF-1, and the fact that both hormones are low in growth-restricted fetuses. She examines whether exogenous IGF-1 infusion promotes growth and improves pancreas structure and function in growth-restricted fetal sheep. Furthermore, she has started exploring novel mechanisms that could help explain the acute and long-term pancreatic defects observed in growth-restricted fetuses. In a new collaboration and mentorship with Dr. Clyde Wright, an expert in NFκB signaling, and under the continued mentorship of Dr. Rozance, she is nvestigating the association between NFkB activation in the fetal pancreas and decreased insulin secretion. This is an area of fetal pancreas development that has been understudied, and recent evidence suggests that abnormal fetal β-cell-specific NFκB activation could link intrauterine β-cell failure, lower β-cell mass, and the later development of type 2 diabetes.
Wright, Clyde, MDAssociate professorPediatrics- Neonatology innate immune signaling, NFkB, inflammation, intrauterine growth restrictionDr Wright is a neonatologist who studies the impact of prematurity on long-term health as babies born prematurely face a high burden of systemic morbidities. It is well known that common exposures encountered in the neonatal intensive care unit stimulate innate immune signaling, causing inflammation, injury and abnormal development. Dr. Wright is interested in determining the mechanisms by which clinically relevant exposures stimulate innate immune signaling in order to develop targeted therapeutics to attenuate inflammatory injury and preserve normal development.
Wright, Kenneth, PhDProfessorUCB- Dept of Integrative PhysiologyCircadian rhythm, sleep, sleep deprivation, melatonin, circadian clocksDr. Wright’s diabetes-related research, and that of his trainees, is focused on understanding how sleep and the circadian clock influence metabolism, and determining how sleep and circadian disruption contribute to metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes. His research also tests sleep and circadian based treatment strategies to promote metabolic health.
Yu, Liping, MDResearch Associate ProfessorPediatrics- Barbara Davis CenterAutoantibodies, diabetes mellitus type 1, islets of Langerhans, antigens, autoimmunity, biomarkers, blood glucoseDr. Yu's research is directed at understanding the immunogenetics and immunopathogenesis of type 1 diabetes, including the mechanistic study of immunotherapy and the development of novel biomarkers and autoantibody assays. His clinical immunology laboratory is currently the NIH/NIDDK designated North America Autoantibody/HLA Core laboratory for type 1 diabetes clinical trials. At this BDC laboratory, immunogenetic and state of the art autoantibody analysis are integrated into clinical care and clinical research with a large population of T1D patients also tested for thyroid, Addison’s, celiac disease, APS-1, and rheumatoid arthritis risk. 
Zeitler, Philip, MD, PhDProfessorPediatrics- EndocrinologyDiabetes mellitus Type 2, obesity, hypoglycemic agents, Metformin, glycated hemoglobin ADr. Zeitler's research group focuses on understanding the physiologic and psychological aspects of obesity, insulin resistance, and T2D in adolescents.  Dr. Zeitler has been Chair of TODAY, an NIH-funded, multi-center longitudinal study of clinical outcomes in adolescents with T2D since 2003. He is also co-investigator in the RISE consortium exploring ways to improve β-cell function in adolescents with prediabetes and recent onset T2D. 



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