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World-Class Diabetes Research

Research to Prevent and Cure Diabetes at UMass Chan Medical School

 UMass Chan Medical School Diabetes Center of Excellence Directors

Under the co-direction of Dale L. Greiner, PhD, and David M. Harlan, MD, the goal of the Diabetes Center of Excellence (DCOE) at UMass Chan Medical School is to prevent and cure diabetes. DCOE research faculty are gaining new knowledge of the disease by studying human tissueshuman cells inside of our novel biological models that mimic the human immune system. Understanding what causes diabetes will allow us to develop effective therapies and ultimately find the cure. 

Research Strategies

Meet the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence Scientists

 Jamie Kady Diabetes Research

Diabetes Research Laboratories

DCOE News

Total: displaying 5 out of 128 results
  • Michael Brehm and Dale Greiner UMass Chan Diabetes Research

    Developing Improved Models for Cutting-Edge Immune Cell Studies to Accelerate Disease Treatments in the Brehm & Greiner Laboratories

    The laboratories of Michael Brehm, PhD, and Dale Greiner, PhD, are leading a multisite collaboration that has been approved for a four-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to create cutting-edge humanized mouse resources to support the efficient development of human tissue resident macrophages in disease relevant models. 

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  • UMass Memorial Diabetic Health Outreach Clinic for Worcester's Underserved Community

    UMass Memorial Diabetic Health Outreach Clinic for Worcester's Underserved Community

    The 8th biannual Diabetes Foot & Health Care Clinic for the underserved community was held at South Middlesex Non-Profit Housing Corporation in Leominster organized by vascular surgeon & diabetes scientist Tammy Nguyen, MD.  All attendees received a foot exam, blood sugar, lipid & BMI testing, wound care and other health resources.  They were also each given sneakers, socks and a hot meal. The first of these bi-annual multidisciplinary outreach clinics was on World Diabetes Day in 2020 and are now held every summer and in November during Diabetes Awareness Month.  

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  • Tammy Nguyen and Silvia Corvera Fat Tissue Plays a Central Role in the Aging Process Nature Metabolism

    Adipose (Fat) Tissue Plays an Important Role in the Aging Process

    Tammy Nguyen, MD, PhD, and Silvia Corvera, MD, published a review article in the journal Nature Metabolism that discusses the role of adipose tissue (fat tissue) in the aging process. As people get older age, fat tissue undergoes changes that can influence our metabolism, immune function, and even lifespan.  Drs. Nguyen & Corvera highlight that over time fat tissue loses its ability to store and release energy efficiently. It can lead to an imbalance in energy metabolism, contributing to conditions including cardiovascular diseases, obesity and diabetes.

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  • Michael Brehm, PhD

    Michael Brehm, PhD, Promoted to Associate Director

    Michael Brehm, PhD, Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine, The Harvey A. Shultz Chair in Diabetes, and co-director of the UMass Chan Humanized Mouse Core, was promoted to associate director of the Diabetes Center of Excellence (DCOE) at UMass Chan Medical School in March of 2024. In this role, Dr. Brehm will work alongside co-directors David Harlan, MD, and Dale Greiner, PhD, in leading our diabetes research efforts, including the production of human stem cell-derived islets in the Pappas Stem Cell Differentiation Core.

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  • Najihah Aziz Three Minute Thesis Winner

    Czech Lab PhD Student Najihah Aziz Wins Three Minute Thesis Competition

    Czech lab PhD student Najihah Aziz won first prize in a UMass Chan Medical School Three Minute Thesis competition. Her 180 second talk explained how brown fat could potentially be used to treat type 2 diabetes. 
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  • Keri Walko-Henry, ATR, CCLS, LMHC

    Certified Child Life Specialists in Pediatric Diabetes Care

    A Certified Child Life Specialist supports diabetic children and their families working with the care team to provide age appropriate support and interventions at UMass Memorial Medical Center. 

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  • Developing NAFLD Screening in the Clinic for People with Diabetes & Prediabetes

    Berkman Diabetes Clinical Innovation Grant to Develop Liver Screening in the Adult Diabetes Clinic

    Liver disease is strongly associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity. It remains underdiagnosed and undertreated and many people living with T2D are unaware they have it.  A new process has been implemented utilizing a screening tool in the UMass Memorial diabetes clinic that analyzes clinically available data to determine patient risk of liver fibrosis.  

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  • UMass Memorial Diabetic Health Outreach Clinic for Worcester's Underserved Community

    UMass Memorial Diabetic Health Outreach Clinic for Worcester's Underserved Community

    The 7th Diabetes Health Clinic for Worcester’s underserved community was held at Saint Francis Xavier Center in the Canal District. UMass DCOE providers and staff joined other volunteers from Vascular Surgery, Podiatry, Cardiology and Dermatology. All attendees received a foot exam, blood sugar, lipid & BMI testing, wound care and health resources.  They were also each given sneakers, socks and a hot meal. The first of these bi-annual multidisciplinary outreach clinics was on World Diabetes Day in 2020 and are now held every summer and in November during Diabetes Awareness Month.  

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  • Generation and Molecular Characterization of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Pharyngeal Endoderm

    Generation and Molecular Characterization of Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Pharyngeal Endoderm

    The foregut endoderm contributes to several organs including the thyroid, lungs, liver, and pancreas. Approaches to study it has been impeded by lack of tissue access and cellular models. A protocol to develop human pharyngeal endoderm from stem cells was published by the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence laboratories of René Maehr, PhD and Michael Brehm, PhD at UMass Chan Medical School. 

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  • Nguyen Lab Finds a Distinct Class of Stem Cells  Develop from Yellow Bone Marrow in Humans

    Surgeon-Scientist Tammy Nguyen Found a Distinct Class of Stem Cells Develop from Yellow Bone Marrow in Humans

    The laboratory of vascular surgeon-scientist Tammy Nguyen, MD, PhD, developed a novel method in collaboration with Dr. Silvia Corvera’s lab to collect human stem cells directly from the bone marrow of people who underwent lower extremity amputations for non-healing wounds and grow them in her lab. Her research is examining why the immune cells of people living with diabetes behave differently than those without diabetes. In a newly published study, she identified that there are two different types of stem cell populations that are located within separate parts of bone marrow in the human leg. So far Dr. Nguyen has learned that stem cells derived from yellow/fatty marrow proliferate more and are more responsive. Currently she is asking additional questions in her lab to compare the marrow and immune cell development between people living with diabetes and those without diabetes.

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  • Tree of Hippocrates in Kos

    Tree Connected to "Father of Medicine" Planted Between the UMass Chan Diabetes Clinic and Research Laboratories

    A branch from the “Tree of Hippocrates” from an Oriental plane tree on the island of Kos, Greece was planted on the UMass Chan Medical School campus.  According to legend, Hippocrates of Kos, who is considered to be the father of medicine, educated his students near the tree more than 2,500 years ago. Three Diabetes Center of Excellence researchers spoke at the planting ceremony. 

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  • John Haley Metabolism Award

    John Haley Awarded Emerging Scientist in Metabolism Prize

    John Haley, a PhD candidate in the Guertin lab, was named the 2023 Emerging Scientist in Metabolism by Weill Cornell Medicine.  He was awarded the top prize in a national competition for senior graduate students who are conducting metabolism research. Haley plans to pursue post-doctoral training focusing on the intersection of metabolism and signaling.

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  • Jennifer Cuddy Shrewsbury High School

    Shrewsbury High School Teacher Completes American Association of Immunologists Research Program at UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence

    Shrewsbury High School Chemistry teacher Jennifer Cuddy spent a second summer in the Diabetes Center of Excellence research laboratories thanks to an American Association of Immunologists High School Teachers Program in Immunology Award.  She participated in studies investigating the effects of human immune cells on stem cell-derived pancreatic islets. The program provided Ms. Cuddy with new skills that she can incorporate into her high school classroom.  

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  • Diabetes Youth Transition Clinic

    Young Adult Clinic Pilot Program to Improve Diabetes Care at UMass Memorial

    The UMass Memorial adult diabetes clinic launched a Young Adult Clinic to help 18 to 26 year-olds who are struggling with any aspect of living with type 1 of type 2 diabetes. The care team includes an Endocrinologist, Nurse Practitioner and Diabetes Educator who explore the participant’s unique issues and create personalized care plans to help them achieve their health goals. Resources and peer to peer communication is included in the program.

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  • Sam Redick Type 1 Diabetes Research UMass Chan Medical School

    Researcher Spotlight: Sambra Redick, PhD - Creating Stem Cell-Derived Pancreatic Islets

    Sam Redick, PhD, led the effort to develop and grow stem cell-derived islets at the UMass Chan Diabetes Center of Excellence for various collaborative research projects, including genetically engineering them to become undetected by the immune system. Transplanting stem cell-derived into a person living with type 1 diabetes, without them requiring toxic immunosuppressive therapy, would be a life-changing curative therapy.  That is the core focus of the JDRF Center of Excellence in New England led by UMass DCOE co-director Dr. David Harlan. Learn more about Sam and her T1D research

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  • Humanized Mouse Immunotherapty Research Models

    New “Humanized” Mouse Model Supports Human Immune System Development and the Study of Human-Specific Innate Immunity in the Brehm & Greiner Labs

    This study conducted in the Brehm & Greiner labs and published in the The Journal of Leukocyte Biology describes the creation of a novel “humanized” mouse model that enables specific targeting of the human toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) pathway in mice. These molecules help the immune system recognize infections and other harmful threats. Their new model allows scientists to test therapies in a human specific manner and show treatment efficacy against a human tumor.

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  • UMass Chan Medical School Student Emilee Herringshaw

    UMass Chan Medical School Student Conducting Pilot Study to Analyze Skin Reactions to CGM at UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence

    Emilee Herringshaw is a UMass Chan Medical School student living with type 1 diabetes who is working towards a career in dermatology. She was awarded a clinical research grant by The American Contact Dermatitis Society to create a pilot study designed to evaluate skin reactions to continuous glucose monitors. Patients at the UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence are invited to participate and the data will be analyzed looking at all available devices, various scenarios & interventions.

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  • Dr. Juan Ding provides diabetes eye exams at UMass Memorial

    Testing  Efficacy and Impact of an AI Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Program in Primary Care Clinics

    The fourth annual Herman G. Berkman Diabetes Clinical Innovation Fund grant was awarded to optometrist Juan Ding, OD, PhD and co-investigator James Ledwith, MD, Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. Their project titled "Efficacy and Impact of Implementing an AI Diabetic Retinopathy Screening Program in Family Medicine Clinics" offers a path to identify eye disease and improve comprehensive care for people living with diabetes.

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  • UMass Chan Medical School Stem Cell Derived Islet Core

    $500K from the Arthur M. and Martha R. Pappas Foundation to Advance UMass Chan Diabetes Research Capabilities

    The Pappas Stem Cell Differentiation Core in the UMass Chan Diabetes Center of Excellence is creating stem cell-derived pancreatic beta cells to investigate human type 1 diabetes in vivo thanks to a financial gift from the Arthur M. and Martha R. Pappas Foundation.  The Pappas Foundation also funded the purchase of a state-of-the-art flow cytometer to characterize cells and their functional and signaling properties in our laboratories.   

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  • Qingbo Chen, PhD UMass Chan Medical School

    Secreted Protein in Brown Fat Shown to Control Thermogenesis and Blood Glucose

    Brown adipose tissue (fat tissue) is known to burn fat and improve metabolism while and white adipose tissue stores fat. Scientists are exploring cellular and molecular mechanisms that control brown fat, and how to convert white adipocytes into brown-like adipocytes. A newly published study in Nature Communications led by Qingbo Chen, PhD, describes a brown fat-enriched adipokine they call Adissp (Adipose-secreted signaling protein) that is a key regulator for white adipose tissue thermogenesis and glucose homeostasis.

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  • Jennifer Wang Lab

    Wang Lab Study Finds Early Islet Transcriptional Signature is Associated with Local Inflammation in Type 1 Diabetes

    Viral infections continue to be linked to the development of type 1 diabetes, yet human immune responses to viruses and how that leads to the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas is still unknown.  The laboratory of Jennifer Wang, MD, investigated inflammatory pathways because viruses can trigger inflammation that damages the pancreas.  The research focused on early events leading to autoimmune responses to viruses with the ultimate goal of therapeutics that could target inflammation before T1D manifests.

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  • Diabetic Homeless Clinic

    UMass Memorial Diabetic Health Clinic for Worcester's Underserved

    The 6th diabetic community health clinic was a multidisciplinary outreach event with providers from the UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence, vascular surgery, podiatry & more. They volunteered at the Athol Area YMCA to provide free exams and point of care testing. PHOTOS

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  • Nuzzy Memorial Golf Tournament

    Joseph Nozzolillo Memorial Foundation Surpassed $111,000 in Fundraising for UMass Chan Diabetes Center of Excellence Research

    The Joseph “Nuzzy” Nozzolillo Memorial Foundation raised $26K in 2023, adding to their ongoing support of the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence.  Their six-year fundraising total has surpassed $111,000. The 6th annual Nuzzy Memorial Golf Tournament and 4th “Rockin’ for Nuzzy” fundraiser concert were organized by Joe's family and friends who are grateful for the care he received and optimistic about the diabetes research taking place at the UMass Chan DCOE.  PHOTOS & VIDEO

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  • Vitilago Research

    Diabetes Center of Excellence Immunologist Sally Kent Investigating Autoreactive T Cell Function in Vitiligo

    A five-year grant from the NIH/NIAMS was awarded to John Harris, MD, PhD, Founding Director of the Vitiligo Clinic & Research Center, and Autoimmune Therapeutics Institute at UMass Chan Medical School. The project is entitled Dissecting Functional Autoimmunity through High-Resolution Multiomics in a Vitiligo Center of Research Translation. Dr. Kent is leading Project 1, Autoreactive T Cell Function in Vitiligo.

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  • Adipocyte Signaling Pathway Czech Lab Review

    The Czech Lab Reviews the Adipocyte Supersystem of Insulin and cAMP Signaling in Trends in Cell Biology

    The Czech lab examined the metabolic regulation of adipocytes by insulin receptor signaling and the cAMP signaling pathway in a review article published in the journal Trends in Cell Biology. The two major signaling networks regulate virtually every organ and/or cell type in the human body.  While the two signaling pathways intercommunicate regularly in fat cells, published data has shown they typically counteract one other in most cellular processes. Their opposite roles are indispensable for adipocyte physiology and metabolic homeostasis. Together they constitute what the Czech lab calls “the adipocyte supersystem.” However, their review highlights a set of genes that are known to promote metabolic health and were activated by both insulin and catecholamines in the same way.  

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  • Extracellular Vesicles Diabetes Research Kent Lab

    The Kent Lab is Investigating the Role of Extracellular Vesicles in the Development of Type 1 Diabetes

    Sally Kent, PhD was awarded a Multi-Principal Investigator grant from the NIH/NIDDK entitled Extracellular Vesicle-mediated islet immune cross talk in type 1 diabetes pathogenesis. The project will examine the function of extracellular vesicles originating directly from pancreatic islets in people with  type 1 diabetes. The goal of these studies is to understand their functional role in the autoimmune process and to provide biomarkers for disease development.

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  • Mark O’Connor UMass Memorial PACE Award

    Endocrinologist Mark O'Connor Awarded Academic Collaboration Prize to Study the Use of Smart Watch Technology to Prevent Dangerous Hypoglycemia

    Dr. O’Connor was co-recipient of the UMass Memorial Medical Group’s Prize for Academic Collaboration and Excellence (PACE) Award. It supports physicians in cutting-edge research and encourages interdepartmental collaboration. His project is studying the benefits of using widely available wearable devices such as smart watches, to protect people who are living with diabetes, from dangerous hypoglycemia. A pilot study of people with type 1 diabetes who are at risk for hypoglycemia will create an optimized algorithm for detecting hypoglycemia based on smart watch data.

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  • Investigating CAR T Cell Therapy

    Investigating CAR T Cell Therapy Targeting Type 1 Diabetes Specific Cells in the Kent and Brehm Labs

    The study aims to generate CAR T cell variants that would target and eliminate islet specific autoreactive T cells in people with type 1 diabetes. A grant from the NIH/NIDDK with Multi-Principal Investigators was awarded to investigate CAR T-cell technology as a potential T1D therapy. 

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  • Natural Killer Cells

    Enhanced Development of Functional Human Natural Killer Cells for Pre-Clinical Study in the Greiner and Brehm Labs

    In a newly published study in the FASEB journal, the laboratories of Michael Brehm, PhD and Dale Greiner, PhD describe a novel humanized mouse model developed with improved Natural Killer (NK) cell acceptance and functionality.  Their data explains the potential for this in vivo model to study human NK cell biology and to test new human-specific immune-therapies that target NK cells. 

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  • Tammy Nguyen Type 2 Diabetes Wound Healing Research

    Tammy Nguyen Receives NIDDK K08 Career Development Award to Investigate and Improve Non-Healing Wounds in People with Type 2 Diabetes

    Vascular surgeon-scientist Tammy Nguyen, MD, PhD, is the recipient of a K08 Clinical Investigator Award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to advance her independent clinical research. Dr. Nguyen wants to understand why people with diabetes have a difficult time with wound healing, particularly foot ulcers. She’s studying the effect of type 2 diabetes on the development of the immune system, with the goal of designing targeted therapies to combat poor wound healing. As the Medical Director of the Lower Extremity Wound Clinic at UMass Memorial Health, she continues to perform surgeries on people with diabetes who developed uncontrolled infections that led to amputations. 

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  • Michael Czech Lab Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis

    Investigating a Potential Path to Medication for Metabolic Dysfunction-Associated Steatotic Liver Disease (MASLD) in the Czech Lab

    A significant percentage of people living with type 2 diabetes also have too much fat accumulated in their liver that can develop into liver disease. Currently, there is no medication for metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH). To better understand how a medicine might be developed, the Czech lab studied fat production in the liver from carbohydrates by disrupting an enzyme that helps to convert blood glucose into fat in obese mice.  Another study targeted genes that promote fatty liver and inflammation in obesity and diabetes with short-interfering RNA (siRNA)-induced RNAi.

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  • Continuous Glucose Monitoring in the Hospital Emergency Room Study

    Studying the Benefits of Continuous Glucose Monitors to Reduce Hospitalizations and Diabetic Complications

    A randomized clinical trial provided continuous glucose monitors to people with diabetes who are currently not using one and arrived at Worcester's UMass Memorial Hospital Emergency Room with high or low blood sugar, or other diabetes related complications. The goal was to reduce clinic no-shows and improve glycemic outcomes and patient satisfaction. 

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  • Bukyung Kim and Jae Hyun Kim

    Jason Kim's Lab is Hosting Visiting Researchers from South Korea to Conduct Type 2 Diabetes Research

    The Jason Kim laboratory welcomes visiting professors from Kosin University College of Medicine in South Korea. Both physician-scientists will be conducting diabetes research at UMass Chan Medical School through 2023.  

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  • Virtual Diabetes Camp Jason Kim

    Diabetes Virtual Camp for Future Scientists and Physicians Created by the Family of UMass Diabetes Researcher Jason Kim

    The first four virtual diabetes camp sessions included more than 1,500 students from 33 countries and 45 U.S. states. They represented 315 colleges around the world participating in free Zoom-based sessions. 

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  • JDRF Center of Excellence in New England

    UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence Co-Director David Harlan Appointed Director of the JDRF Research Center in New England

    Dr. David Harlan has been named the new director of the JDRF Center of Excellence in New England. For nearly 40 years, Dr. Harlan has been conducting research exploring the pathophysiology underlying diabetes. He also brings years of experience as an endocrinologist with expertise in diabetes and metabolism. A renowned basic and clinical investigator, his current research is focused on beta cell biology and the anti-beta cell immune response. The Center is genetically modifying beta cells with the goal of making them invulnerable to the immune system when infused as a therapy into a person with type 1 diabetes.

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  • Vascular Cures

    Vascular Surgeon-Scientist Tammy Nguyen Received the Wylie Scholar Award For Diabetic Wound Healing Research

    Tammy Nguyen, MD, PhD is a vascular surgeon-scientist who is interested in understanding why people living with diabetes have trouble getting foot wounds to heal. This career development grant will provide $150,000 over the next three years for her project “Exploring How the Diabetic Immune System Contributes to Non-Healing Ulcers.” Dr. Nguyen is studying the effect of type 2 diabetes (T2D) on the development of the immune system to design targeted therapies to combat poor wound healing for people with T2D. She developed a novel method to collect and expand human stem cells directly from the bone marrow of donors both with and without T2D who underwent lower extremity amputation for non-healing wounds.

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  • Diabetes Coaching Program UMass Memorial

    Diabetes Coaching Program is Helping Struggling Patients Improve Dangerously High Blood Sugars

    Despite attending an American Diabetes Association-recognized education program at the UMass Memorial Health Diabetes Center of Excellence (DCOE), some people still struggle to keep their blood glucose within a healthy range. The DCOE piloted a Care Coach Program in collaboration with Shields Health Care Group to provide supplemental support to help them manage blood glucose levels. Participants have successfully lowered their A1c and demonstrated a reduction in the distress caused by their diabetes by implementing behavioral, lifestyle, and medication changes, thanks to more frequent contact with a diabetes expert to administer the care plan developed by their endocrinologist and/or nurse practitioner.  

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  • Diabetes gene study

    Endocrinologist Mark O'Connor Identifying Genes Linked to the Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

    Endocrinologist Mark O'Connor, MD, led the largest genome-wide meta-analysis study ever done using a recessive model for Type 2 diabetes.  It identified 51 loci associated with diabetes, including five that were undetected by past additive analyses.  The results were published in the journal Diabetes demonstrating that recessive models can identify new genetic risk factors for T2D, including variants with large effect sizes.  

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  • Sarah Nicoloro Senior Research Scientist

    Genetically Modifying Adipocytes to Increase Fat Burning and Improve Metabolic Function as a Potential Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes

    The Czech Lab is using genetic engineering to investigate a therapeutic approach to Type 2 diabetes.  Senior scientist Sarah Nicoloro's research involves the modification of genes of adipocytes to increase fat burning and improve their metabolic function as a potential therapy.  When she joined the lab in 1998, their focus was to learn about the interactions taking place within adipocytes, particularly insulin signaling and GLUT4 trafficking. She was part of a team of scientists who developed a novel small interfering RNA (siRNA) delivery system. Learn more about Sarah and her research.

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  • Brown Adipose Tissue

    Guertin Lab Reviews the Multi-omics Era of Adipocyte Insulin Signaling and Metabolism Research in Trends in Biochemical Sciences

    Proteomics and metabolomics are advancing the understanding of insulin signaling focusing on fat cells (white and brown adipocytes).  The Guertin Lab describes how integrating the two ‘omics techniques is critical to clarifying adipocyte insulin action in Type 2 diabetes.  Their article raises questions for future investigation with important implications for understanding and treating insulin resistance, obesity and metabolic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes.  

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  • Emily and Ben Diabetes Elective

    Two UMass Chan Medical Students Created an Elective Course Teaching In-Depth Diabetes Management and Care

    Two third year medical students at UMass Chan worked with the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence to launch an elective course called Management and Care of Patients with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. 

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  • Insulin Rising Cost

    Affordable Insulin Now Act Includes a Monthly Out-Of-Pocket Patient Maximum of $35 for Insulin Prescriptions

    New legislation has been introduced to the United States Senate including a $35 per month insulin co-pay cap for people with Medicare, employer-sponsored coverage, or insurance purchased on the Affordable Care Act marketplace. The Affordable Insulin Now Act also requires commercial insurers to exclude insulin from the deductible. Read reactions to the bill from Dr. Samir Malkani, Clinical Chief of the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence and Cheryl Barry, RN, Manager of Diabetes Education.  

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  • Pancreatic Islet

    The Diabetes Center of Excellence and Worcester Polytechnic Institute Awarded a Grant to Develop Type 1 Diabetes Research Tools

    The Diabetes Center of Excellence received a UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science pilot grant for a collaborative Type 1 diabetes project with Worcester Polytechnic Institute. A novel tool has been created to improve the removal of individual pancreatic islets from human pancreas slices. Improving the tool will allow our scientists to extract single islets from living pancreas slices for more in-depth investigation of the insulin producing beta cells and immune cells, to better understand the autoimmune attack that occurs in people with Type 1 diabetes.  LEARN MORE

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  • Type 2 Diabetes Researcher Spotlight: Emmanouela Tsagkaraki, MD, PhD

    Gene Engineering of Fat Cells as a Potential Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes

    Cell therapies have successfully treated patients in oncology and other fields of medicine, and scientists at UMass Chan Medical School are investigating potential clinical applications for type 2 diabetes and obesity.  Research in the laboratories of Michael Czech, PhD and Silvia Corvera, MD, are explore a cell therapy approach by engineering the genome of human adipocyte promoters to expand their use in metabolic diseases such as diabetes and beyond. Researcher Spotlight: Meet Emmanouela Tsagkaraki, MD, PhD and learn about her research 

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  • Maehr Nature Communications

    Identifying Genes and Signaling Pathways to Develop Thymus Cells to Explore the Root Cause of Type 1 Diabetes in the Maehr Lab

    The Maehr laboratory is focused on the thymus, the major organ involved in educating the immune system.  They're using human pluripotent stem cells to develop functional thymic epithelial cells that will be used to study the role the organ plays in the Type 1 diabetes autoimmune attack. A newly published study in Nature Communications examined changes in gene expression & cellular behaviors that occur during the development of several organ domains including the thymus.  

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  • Diabetes Management Technology Update

    The Latest Blood Glucose Management Tools and Products

    New insulin pumps, infusion devices, continuous glucose monitors, glucagon delivery devices and new smartphone apps continue to become available to help with diabetes management. Learn about the latest technology and tools providing improved self-care options for people living with both type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes.   

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  • Adipose Tissue Gene Analysis

    Gene Analysis Research Uncovered a Physiological Brake Protecting Thermogenesis in Fat Tissue

    A recently published gene analysis study from the laboratory of Yong-Xu Wang, PhD, uncovered a physiological brake to protect the thermogenesis process in adipose tissue, providing new insights into mechanisms that sustain whole-body energy balance and tissue stability.  Their research is investigating cellular and molecular mechanisms to convert white adipocytes into brown-like adipocytes, as a potential Type 2 diabetes therapy.   

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  • Human Type 1 Diabetes Research

    Modeling and Studying the Autoimmune Processes of Human Type 1 Diabetes Using Human Cells and Tissues

    Animal models of Type 1 diabetes (T1D) have provided valuable insights for decades, however rodent experiments have not provided an understanding of the root cause of how the disease develops in humans. The research team at the UMass Chan Diabetes Center of Excellence continues to gain new knowledge of the disease by recreating human immune systems inside of unique “humanized” mice to investigate human cells and tissues. A newly published manuscript in Molecular Metabolism emphasizes the concept that T1D pathogenesis is far more heterogeneous than has previously been widely appreciated by the broad diabetes research community.  

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  • Continuous Glucose Monitor Nancy Sidhom

    Diabetes Nurse Practitioner Nancy Sidhom Describes the Benefits of Continuous Glucose Monitors

    In an article featured in Worcester Medicine, UMass DCOE Nurse Practitioner Nancy Sidhom describes the benefits of continuous glucose monitors (CGM) and how the constantly improving technology is helping people living with diabetes like never before. From a nursing perspective, education is the center point of every patient encounter. CGM use has led many patients to reduce insulin use, revamp dietary choices, create exercise habits and effectively instill long-sought behavior change. Historically, CGM therapy was reserved for patients with Type 1 diabetes. Fortunately, CGM therapy is now widely covered for patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. 

     
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  • Molecular Therapy Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis

    Identifying Therapeutic Targets Using RNAi Technology to Treat Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) in the Czech Lab

    The Czech Lab is targeting genes that promote fatty liver and inflammation in obesity and diabetes with short-interfering RNA (siRNA)-induced RNAi as a potential therapy for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).  It's a severe liver disorder characterized by accumulating triglycerides and severe inflammation.  In a newly published study in the scientific journal Molecular Therapy, Batuhan Yenilmez, PhD, led preclinical studies using “humanized mice” from the Brehm Lab. The humanized model was used to show that their compound can successfully target human mRNA in vivo.  

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  • Adilson Guilherme, PhD

    Type 2 Diabetes Researcher Spotlight: Adilson Guilherme, PhD

    Dr. Guilherme is an Associate Professor in the laboratory of Michael Czech, PhD at UMass Chan Medical School.  One of his career highlights thus far was his involvement in the development of small interfering RNA (siRNA) screens as a therapeutic tool to address cellular and molecular mechanisms of inflammation, obesity and diabetes. Another was the Czech Lab's discovery of a molecular motor they found to be essential for insulin stimulation of glucose transport into fat cells.  He's excited for future research to determine what additional hormones adipocytes are secreting, then studying those to determine if mutating or deleting them may offer therapeutic potential for people struggling with obesity, diabetes or cardiovascular disease.  Learn more about Adilson and his research.

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  • Jennifer Wang Type 1 Diabetes Immuno Horizons

    The Wang Lab Sheds New Light on the Relationship Between Viral Infections and Type 1 Diabetes

    Newly published research conducted in the laboratory of Jennifer Wang, MD, investigated the relationship between viral infections and type 1 diabetes (T1D). A significant number of viruses have been associated with T1D, including enteroviruses, such as Coxsackievirus.  The Wang Lab conducts extensive research using a unique rat model of T1D to study viruses as a possible trigger of the disease. The study defined how deleting components of the innate immune antiviral response alters immune cells to protect against autoimmunity.

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  • Dale Greiner, Diabetes research, Humanized Mouse

    Greiner Lab Helping to Improve a Macroencapsulation Device to Advance the Development of Beta Cell Replacement Technology

    A collaborative research team including UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence co-director Dale Greiner, PhD, developed and tested an enhanced microencapsulation device intended to protect transplanted human islets into people with Type 1 diabetes.  This newly published study showed proof-of-concept by providing a glucose-sensing, insulin-secreting encapsulation device that holds more cells and demonstrated greater cell survival than previous MEDs.  It also provided enhanced nutrient transport that ultimately led to a rapid reduction of hyperglycemia.  

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  • Mason Tarpley Diabetes Research

    Bioinformatician Mason Tarpley Named UMass Chan Diabetes Center of Excellence Cammett Scholar in Type 1 Diabetes Research

    Mason Tarpley was named the Cammett Scholar for Type 1 Diabetes Research at UMass Chan Medical School’s Diabetes Center of Excellence. His role as a bioinformatician is to analyze the immense amount of data generated in the laboratories of David Harlan, MD, Sally Kent, PhD, and Jennifer Wang, MD. 
    Meet Mason and learn about his work

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  • Mello Award

    Mello Scholar Awards Recognize Molecular Research, including Type 2 Diabetes Studies at UMass Chan Medical School

    The 2021 Mello Scholar awards were presented to four graduate students at UMass Chan Medical School, including two who are conducting type 2 diabetes research.  The award is presented annually by its namesake, Nobel Laureate Craig Mello, PhD.  Kate Korobkina is a PhD candidate who works in the Guertin Lab. Kate is studying mechanisms of nutrient sensing in cells and tissues focusing in mTORC2 regulation and thermogenesis pathways.  Chandler Friend is PhD candidate in the Davis Lab where she's conducting metabolism studies.  Chadler is investigating endothelial cells, which form the barrier between tissues and circulating blood.  Learn more about the award and this year's recipients.

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  • Brown Adipose Tissue

    Type 2 Diabetes Research in the Guertin Lab Tracked and Discovered New Functions of Glucose in Brown Fat

    Brown adipose tissue (BAT), commonly known as brown fat, is a type of body fat that is activated in cold conditions.  Its main function is to turn the energy from fat storage and food into heat that helps maintain body temperature in the cold.  In a new study published in Cell Reports, the Guertin Lab learned that BAT uses glucose not only for fuel, but for many other metabolic pathways that support thermogenesis.  This discovery was possible through adapting a new technique and strategy to track how brown fat uses the individual atoms of glucose as they are consumed by the brown fat tissue.
    LEARN MORE

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  • Carrie Zammitti Brehm Lab Type 1 Diabetes Research

    Researcher Spotlight: Carey Zammitti

    Carey Zammitti is a Research Associate in the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence laboratory of Michael Brehm, PhD.  Some of the projects she’s been involved with include testing pancreatic islets in the Brehm Lab’s unique “humanized” mouse models of type 1 diabetes to study their potential for transplantation as a possible therapeutic treatment.  She has also tested the functionality of microscopic encapsulation devices to protect insulin-producing beta cells and islets from being recognized and attacked by immune cells.  MEET CAREY

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  • Diabetic Foot Ulcers Healing

    Investigating Leptin Regulation of the Human Diabetic Immune System in Nonhealing Diabetic Foot Ulcers

    Approximately a third of all people with diabetes develop diabetic foot ulcers.  While current treatment is effective for some patients, about half of diabetic foot ulcers become nonhealing and result in amputation.  A team of scientists at the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence believe that can be avoided. 
    LEARN MORE

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  • type-1diabetes-covid-pandemic

    The COVID-19 Pandemic and Pediatric Type 1 Diabetes

    A recent study led by Benjamin Udoka Nwosu, MD, explored whether the pandemic lockdown had an effect on the blood sugar control of U.S. children and adolescents living with type 1 diabetes (T1D).  Published in Frontiers in Endocrinology, the research found no significant change in glucose control between March 15, 2020, when schools throughout Massachusetts first closed due to COVID-19, through July 6, 2020. 

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  • Insulin Biosimilar Approved by FDA

    FDA Approves Interchangeable Biosimilar Insulin to Potentially Reduce Cost for People to Treat Diabetes

    The FDA has approved the first interchangeable biosimilar insulin for the treatment of diabetes.  It can be substituted by pharmacies without the intervention of the prescribing physician. Will this help to lower insulin prices for people who require this life-saving medication?  Dr. Samir Malkani, Interim Chief of Diabetes at UMass Memorial Health & UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence Education Manager Cheryl Barry, RN, CDCES, offered their thoughts on the matter. LEARN MORE

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  • T Cells in T1D

    Means, Motive, and Opportunity: Investigating the Role of Immune Cells in the Development of Type 1 Diabetes

    Sally Kent, PhD, conducts extensive research at UMass Chan Medical School to understand how and why immune cells in people with type 1 diabetes attack their own beta cells.  A newly published article in the scientific journal Frontiers in Immunology specifically investigates the role of T cells at the “scene of the crime,” where the autoimmune attack occurs.  Dr. Kent collaborated with eight other scientists from the United States, Germany, France, and Sweden to co-author “Means, Motive, and Opportunity: Do Non-Islet-Reactive Infiltrating T Cells Contribute to Autoimmunity in Type 1 Diabetes?”   
    FULL STORY

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  • Commander of the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency

    UMass Diabetes Nurse Practitioner Sean Collins Appointed Commander of the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency

    UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence nurse practitioner and United States Air Force Brigadier General Sean Collins, has once again been called to active duty in Washington, DC.  He is serving a leadership role as Commander of the Air Force Medical Readiness Agency.  Learn about his decorated military career and how he balances it with his role as a valued member of our our diabetes care team. 

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  • Roger Davis Academy of Arts and Sciences

    Roger Davis Elected to The American Academy of Arts & Sciences

    Dr. Davis was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.  His research on stress signaling pathways are connected to diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.  His work has led to the discovery of new genes that contribute to the development of these devastating diseases.  His impressive resume includes investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, member of the National Academy of Inventors and the National Academy of Sciences. The Davis Lab is investigating the molecular mechanism by which inflammation contributes to diabetes and working on the design of novel therapeutic strategies.  

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  • Cell Metabolism Insulin 100 Years

    UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence Researchers Recognized in Cell Metabolism's 100 Years of Insulin Issue

    As we approach the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin in 1921, the scientific journal Cell Metabolism shared stories of scientists and clinicians whose research has advanced our understanding of insulin, islet biology, insulin resistance and diabetes. Two UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence researchers reflected on the privilege of studying insulin. 

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  • Livongo Study at Umass Memorial

    Newly Published Clinical Study Evaluates a Remote Glucose Monitoring Program to Help People With Poorly Controlled Type 2 Diabetes at UMass Memorial

    Newly published data of a randomized crossover trial evaluated a remote monitoring program for people with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes within the UMass Memorial Health system. Patients were provided with coaching from diabetes educators who monitored readings of patients’ blood glucose each time they tested and contacted them if their blood glucose was dangerously high or low.

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  • Researcher Spotlight: Sushobhana Bandyopadhyay, PhD

    Researcher Spotlight: Sushobhana Bandyopadhyay, PhD

    Dr. Bandyopadhyay was a postdoc in the Brehm lab who investigated how and why the autoimmune attack occurs in people with type 1 diabetes. The Brehm lab is transplanting human cells that were derived from blood and stem cells, into their unique "humanized" mouse models. They conduct experiments to observe interactions between insulin-producing beta cells and immune cells from the same T1D patients.  

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  • JDRF Stem Cell Research

    A Collaboration to Genetically Engineer Human Insulin-Producing Beta Cells as a Potential Therapeutic Cure for Type 1 Diabetes

    The JDRF Center of Excellence in New England research collaborative brings together leading scientists who are striving to cure type 1 diabetes. Multiple projects working in harmony to create a stem cell-derived beta cell replacement therapy that would be invisible to the immune system, and provide insulin independence for people living with T1D.  VIDEO

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  • David Harlan, MD - Insulin's 100th Birthday

    Dr. David Harlan Celebrates 100 Years Since the Initial Purification & Use of Insulin in Diabetes Therapy with "The Noble and Often Nobel Role of Insulin-Related Research"

    Dr. Harlan kicked off the Stanford Diabetes Research Center Symposium celebrating the 100th anniversary of the purification & use of insulin as a life-saving diabetes treatment. His thorough retrospective describes important roles played by various scientists, including Nobel laureates. Four major themes in his presentation are: good ideas vs. brilliance; the roles that serendipity and persistence played; and unforeseen consequences of these incredible research accomplishments. VIEW VIDEO  

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  • Tammy Nguyen UMass Chan Medical School Wound Healing

    Tammy Nguyen Received a Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Society Award to Investigate Diabetic Wound Healing Problems

    Tammy Nguyen, MD, PhD, is analyzing bone marrow to learn why diabetes patients with foot ulcers have a difficult time healing. She received the Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Society’s 2021 Early Career Faculty Research Grant designed to help new vascular surgical investigators initiate projects that will lead to additional funding. She's comparing immune cells from people with diabetes who have had amputations with nondiabetic patients who have had amputations for other reasons.  FULL STORY

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  • Virtual Diabetes Camp Jason Kim

    Diabetes Virtual Camp for Future Scientists and Physicians Created by the Family of UMass Diabetes Researcher Jason Kim

    Dr. Kim’s daughters Allison and Lauren are also considering careers in medicine and science. When Lauren’s summer research internship at Harvard Medical School was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the family quickly created the Diabetes Virtual Camp to connect students and experts in a virtual internship setting. After successful summer and fall sessions, they teamed up with the American Diabetes Association to support diabetes research, education and care.

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  • Sean Collins Soldiers Home

    UMass Diabetes Nurse Practitioner, Brig. Gen. Sean Collins Appointed to Board of Trustees for the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home

    In addition to being a nurse practitioner for the Diabetes Center of Excellence at UMass Memorial Medical Center, Sean Collins, PhD, NP, has also enjoyed a decorated military career. Air National Guard Brigadier General Sean Collins was named a member of the Board of Trustees for the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke. He recently served three months at the Pentagon addressing Covid-19 issues during the early days of the pandemic. 

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  • Myoung Sook Han diabetes research

    Davis Lab Investigating a Potential Hormone Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes

    Newly published research from the Davis Lab at the UMass Chan Diabetes Center of Excellence explains a discovery that could lead to a potential therapy for type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases.

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  • Silvia Corvera UMass Diabetes

    Protein Commonly Screened For During Pregnancy is Linked to Gestational Diabetes

    Research at UMass Chan Medical School showed low levels of a protein commonly seen in screening tests during the first trimester of pregnancy is associated with adipose tissue remodeling, glucose resistance and gestational diabetes in pregnant women. The study, published in Science Translational Medicine, outlines a new role for pregnancy-associated plasma protein A, known as PAPPA, in gestational diabetes, with translational potential as both a diagnostic tool and therapeutic target.  

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  • Messina Lab Wound Healing Research

    Messina Lab Developing a Treatment for Previously Non-Healing Wounds in People with Diabetes

    The laboratory of Louis M. Messina, MD, has received grant funding from the National Institutes of Health to test a novel therapy they’ve developed to treat wounds in older adults living with type 2 diabetes.  The Messina Lab already developed and patented a biotherapeutic, which they're now testing in our unique humanized mouse models.   

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  • Micheal Czech and Silvia Corvera

    Re-engineering “Bad Fat” into “Good Fat” as a Therapeutic Approach to Type 2 Diabetes in the Czech & Corvera Labs

    Scientists in the Czech and Corvera labs at UMass Chan Medical School are using the gene editing tool CRISPR to alter DNA and modify gene function - and developing new methods to modify human fat cells in vitro, then transplanting them as a potential therapy for type 2 diabetes and obesity. 

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  • Cell Reports Guertin Lab Type 2 Research

    Studying Fat Cell Function in the Guertin Lab in an Effort to Develop & Test Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes

    Newly published research in the Guertin Lab at the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence knocks out a gene, specifically in a precursor cell population, that gives rise to new fat cells, to understand how to make a healthy fat cell. They're studying a signaling pathway called mTOR Complex 2 (mTORC2). A key regulatory input was discovered that helps to establish not only insulin sensitivity, but the ability of fat tissue to use insulin to take up and store energy as lipids. For the first time, this data establishes mTORC2 as a key regulator of a developing fat cell.  FULL STORY

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  • Silvia Corvera Type 2 Diabetes Research

    The Corvera Lab is Examining How Different Body Fat Plays a Role in Type 2 Diabetes

    People with extra fat around their belly are more at risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who have fat in the lower body. The Corvera lab is investigating how the development and function of fat cells differ in people with and without diabetes. They're examining human fat from different locations in the body to study cells which become fat cells. Understanding the differences in genes expressed in these cells from abdominal fat or gluteal fat and how they become different types of fat cells will help elucidate how different fat depots form, and if they vary between people with and without type 2 diabetes. It will also help explain why lower body fat is beneficial, and maybe recapitulate these beneficial effects in ways that can improve health.  

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  • Kyounghee Min

    Mello Scholars Recognized for Molecular Research at UMass Chan Medical School in Pursuit of the Advancement of Human Health

    Nobel Laureate Craig Mello presented the annual Mello Scholars awards at a socially distanced ceremony at UMass Chan Medical School. The event recognizes graduate students in the Program in Molecular Medicine with outstanding track records and bright futures. The award comes with one year of funding. One of this year’s recipients is a member of the Czech Lab at the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence. Learn more about this year's honorees here.

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  • Silvia Corvera Clinical Trial

    Corvera Lab Leading a Clinical Study to Investigate the Relationship Between Fat, Diabetes and Obesity

    The location of body fat varies in people and too much fat in the belly area is a risk factor for diabetes. The purpose of this research is to characterize how fat cells from the abdomen and buttock regions are different and to study how these cells are different in people with type 2 diabetes.  

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  • Cell Metabolism Type 2 Diabetes Research

    The Kim Lab Participated in Newly Published Collaborative Type 2 Diabetes Research That Identified a Potential Oral Treatment

    Type 2 diabetes research in the laboratory of Dr. Jason Kim at the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence, in a collaborative project led by Dr. Anath Shalev at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and her research team who had discovered a small molecule SRI-37330, have unveiled an exciting new process by which this compound effectively rescues mice from obesity-induced diabetes.  Compared to currently available therapies it could provide an effective new approach to treating type 2 diabetes.  LEARN MORE

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  • Diabetes Prevention Program

    Research Project by Medical Students Looks at Improving Prediabetes and Diabetes in Primary Health Care

    Prior to completing their studies at UMass Chan Medical School, Dr. Ashley Millette Cote and Dr. Alexandria Capozza completed a capstone research project which analyzed the effectiveness of Diabetes Prevention Programs in Massachusetts.  They also developed an elective class at the medical school to teach future students about the best care available for people living with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.  FULL STORY

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  • Cell Reports July 2020

    Modeling Type 1 Diabetes Using Human Stem Cells in the Brehm and Greiner Labs

    Scientists at the UMass Chan Diabetes Center of Excellence continue to gain new knowledge of type 1 diabetes by studying human tissues and human cells, to recreate the disease in our unique humanized animal models.  Newly published research describes our collaboration with the Melton Lab at The Harvard Stem Cell Institute.  Scientists were recently able to model type 1 diabetes autoimmunity using patient’s blood and stem cell derived beta cells.  

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  • Diabetes Camp Study UMass Memorial

    Research Study Compared Blood Sugar Control and Treatment Satisfaction Between Diabetes Camp Week and Home

    Amy Darukhanavala, MD, a pediatric diabetes physician at UMass Memorial’s Diabetes Center of Excellence, led a study comparing the success of continuous glucose monitoring at diabetes summer camp versus at home prior to camp. The research examined blood sugar data and quality of life, based on how the children felt about their diabetes in both settings.  STUDY RESULTS

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  • Jennifer Wang UMass Diabetes research

    Physician-Scientist Jennifer Wang Uses Stem-Cell Derived Beta Cells to Study the Effects of Viral Infections on Type 1 Diabetes Development

    Enteroviruses encompass a group of viruses that give rise to infectious illnesses which are usually mild. However, if enteroviruses such as coxsackievirus infect the central nervous system or heart, they can cause serious illness. Enteroviral infections are also associated with T1D, but how they contribute to this disease is not well understood. Jennifer Wang's lab is using stem-cell derived beta cells to study virus-driven immunology and beta cell dysfunction, with the ultimate goal of new treatments. 

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  • Diabetes Telehealth

    Virtual Telehealth Could Become the New Normal in Diabetes Care

    Virtual telemedicine has been considered by many over the years to be well-suited for diabetes care. A recent study shows better A1c reduction in people who received telehealth care compared with typical in-person appointments. UMass Memorial patients who have received remote diabetes care during the coronavirus pandemic have been overwhelmingly positive about the process. Another published study claims people with type 1 diabetes have combined telehealth and technology with proper blood glucose management and monitoring to achieve better outcomes during the pandemic, as patients avoid in-person visits.

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  • Type 1 Diabetes Pancreas Study

    Smaller Pancreas Size in People with Type 1 Diabetes Suggests It's More than Just a Beta Cell Problem

    UMass Chan Diabetes Center of Excellence co-director David Harlan, MD, participated in newly published research that further characterized pancreases from adult donors with type 1 diabetes compared with similarly aged donors without diabetes. The study found the pancreases from those with both longstanding and recent-onset T1D to be approximately 45% smaller than pancreases from donors without diabetes.  

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  • Beige Fat Study in Cell Reports

    Type 2 Diabetes Research in the Czech Lab Investigating Beige Fat to Potentially Increase Metabolism

    Type 2 diabetes research in the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence laboratory of Michael Czech, PhD, is investigating the behavior and function of various fat cells, with the goal of improving metabolism for a potential obesity therapy.  New data from a recent study was published in the journal Cell ReportsFULL STORY

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  • COVID-19 CGM

    Continuous Glucose Monitors Now Permitted at UMass Memorial to Monitor Diabetes Patients and Protect Hospital Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    The Food and Drug Administration agreed to allow continuous glucose monitors to be used in hospitals during the pandemic to help health care workers monitor diabetes patients while reducing their own exposure to the coronavirus. UMass Memorial began using them to monitor the blood sugar of UMass Memorial's patients with diabetes. In recent years, the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence has revolutionized blood glucose management for all people living with diabetes who are admitted to Worcester’s UMass Memorial hospitals.  

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  • Alan Derr Diabetes Research

    Alan Derr Named Cammett Scholar in Type 1 Diabetes Research at UMass Chan Medical School

    Alan Derr was named the Cammett Scholar for type 1 diabetes research, supported by a generous gift from UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence Visiting Advocacy Committee member John Cammett. Alan's role as a bioinformatician is to analyze the vast volume of data generated during the study of human insulin producing beta cells and the immune cells that attack human islets in people living with diabetes.

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  • Guertin Lab Published New Data About mTORC2 Signaling in Brown Adipocytes

    Guertin Lab Published New Data About mTORC2 Signaling in Brown Adipocytes

    Type 2 diabetes metabolism research in the Guertin Lab examined time dependent changes in the mTORC2 signaling pathway in mature brown adipocytes.

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  • Daniel Amante and Adarsha Bajracharya

    ID PLUS Care program developed to help at-risk type 2 diabetes patients within UMass Memorial receive the care they need

    A new program within the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence is tracking patients at-risk for negative outcomes due to gaps in care by identifying their difficulties and guiding them towards available services and resources to control their diabetes. The ultimate goal is to prevent or reduce the risk of complications, lower healthcare costs, and improve quality of life by encouraging self-care diabetes management. 

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  • Richard A. Siller, PhD  UMass Chan Diabetes

    Glass Family Fellowship in Diabetes Research Established at the UMass Chan Medical School Diabetes Center of Excellence

    The UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence established The Glass Family Fellowship in Diabetes Research, through a gift from Scott and Patricia Glass. It was awarded to Richard A. Siller, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Maehr Lab. He's eager to collaborate with his fellow lab members to work toward creating a fully functional human thymus over the the next two years at the UMass Chan Medical School.   

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  • Davis Lab Sheds Light on Complications From High Blood Glucose and Excess Body Fat Which Lead to Type 2 Diabetes

    Davis Lab Sheds Light on Complications From High Blood Glucose and Excess Body Fat Which Lead to Type 2 Diabetes

    A new study in the Davis Lab on causes of metabolic syndrome was published in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the official journal of the National Academy of Sciences. Data obtained from this research provides insight into some type 2 diabetes risk factors including high blood glucose and obesity.  

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  • Guertin Lab mTORC2 Signaling Study Published in Nature Communications

    Guertin Lab mTORC2 Signaling Study Published in Nature Communications

    A study by Camila Martinez Calejman, PhD, published in the journal Nature Communications revealed an unexpected link between mTOR signaling and the synthesis of Acetyl-CoA, a molecule with critical roles in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and the epigenetic control of gene expression.  It describes the importance of this link in brown adipose tissue, but the implications may extend to understanding other aspects of type 2 diabetes and cancer.   

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  • Rene Maher Type 1 Diabetes

    Developing a Thymus in the Maehr Lab to Improve Type 1 Diabetes Research

    The Maehr Lab is developing human thymus glands using stem cells from the blood of volunteer participants. They'll be inserted into our humanized immune systems, along with insulin producing beta cells and immune cells created from the stem cells of those same blood donors. This will allow our scientists to study the interaction between an individual’s own cells, to investigate how and why the autoimmune attack is taking place. Once it’s determined what’s causing type 1 diabetes, we can then begin to test therapies within our humanized immune models.  

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  • FACEB Journal Harlan Lab

    The Harlan and Greiner Labs Developed a Method to Study Human Cells and Tissue That Improves Type 1 Diabetes Research

    A new technique to study human cells and tissues was recently developed at the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence. It’s another step forward in the continued effort to examine the insulin producing beta cells of humans living with type 1 diabetes and to learn more about the autoimmune attack associated with the disease. The new method allows our scientists to recover and further examine sufficient amounts of living human cells that they previously transplanted into our novel human immune models.   

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  • Michael Czech UMass Diabetes

    Using RNA Interference to Study Behaviors and Function Cells Within Adipose Fat Tissue and the Effect on Blood Glucose Metabolism

    Type 2 diabetes research in the laboratory of Michael Czech, PhD, includes studying the behavior and function of the various cells that make up adipose tissue, with a goal of improving systemic metabolism in obesity.  They contributed some of their lab's RNAi technology to a study published in The Journal of Immunology.  

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  • Wally Gilbert and David Harlan

    David Harlan Interviews Nobel Laureate Wally Gilbert About Pioneering Work in DNA Sequencing That Led to the Creation of the First Genetically Engineered Human Insulin

    David Harlan, MD, interviewed Nobel Prize laureate Wally Gilbert, PhD, 40 years after the first human insulin for diabetes treatment was genetically engineered, thanks in part to his pioneering work in DNA sequencing. Dr. Gilbert is now an accomplished artist and after the interview they toured his impressive art studio in Boston. VIDEO

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  • Sally Kent Type 1 Diabetes Research

    Sally Kent Named Fuller Foundation Term Chair in Diabetes at UMass Chan

    Sally C. Kent, PhD, was named the George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Foundation Term Chair in Diabetes. Dr. Kent studies autoimmune response in type 1 diabetes. Her lab is credited with uncovering new information on how autoreactive T cells target beta cells in islets, a breakthrough that will contribute to the design of therapies for people with type 1 diabetes.  

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  • Current Diabetes Report Adyposite

    Guertin Lab review on the metabolism of fat cells in type 2 diabetes published in Current Diabetes Reports

    Guertin Lab graduate student Wen-Yu Hsiao presents an interesting perspective based on recent findings about what makes a fat cell “healthy” and why.  Their research examines how the metabolism of adipocytes impacts blood glucose and insulin resistance especially in people living with obesity and/or type 2 diabetes.  READ MORE

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  • Conversation Maps for Diabetes Education

    Mapping Your Plan to Control Blood Glucose with Diabetes Education

    UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence education workshops use Conversation Maps® to teach a variety of diabetes topics to help people make lifestyle changes as part of their self-management.   

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  • Carl H. June, MD, pioneer of CAR T Cell Immunotherapy

    Carl H. June, MD, pioneer of CAR T Cell Immunotherapy

    Dr. David Harlan welcomed his longtime friend and fellow distinguished physician/scientist, Carl H. June, MD, to speak at the UMass Chan Medical School Department of Medicine Grand Rounds. They worked closely throughout the 1990's when they led the U.S. Navy’s “Immune Cell Biology Program." Dr. June is director of the Center for Cellular Immunotherapies at the University of Pennsylvania Medical School, and is best known for his pioneering work developing CAR T-cell therapy for the treatment of leukemia. FULL VIDEO

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  • Jinglian Yan UMass Diabetes Wound Healing Research

    The Messina Lab is Developing Blood Stem Cell Approaches to Impaired Diabetic Wound Healing

    The Messina lab is studying impaired wound healing resulting from type 2 diabetes. They've found that diabetes impairs wound healing by causing an injury to blood stem cells that affects a particular white blood cell which is the most important cell in the body’s response to a diabetic ulcer.  Loss of limbs is a major fear of people with uncontrolled blood sugars. This research is exploring a blood stem cell-based therapeutic approach to reverse what is one of the most feared complications of diabetes.  

        

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  • Silvia Corvera Adipocyte Research

    The Corvera Lab Discovered New Fat Cells with Specialized Functions in Human Metabolism

    Dr. Corvera’s laboratory determined that there are more types of fat cells in the human body than originally thought. Prior research had shown two types of fat cells, white and beige. This new research uncovered at least five types of human fat cells which play different roles in how they affect metabolism.  They're now investigating human cell therapy, which consists of using the body’s own cells to increase metabolism, as a possible treatment for type 2 diabetes or its complications.  

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  • Brehm lab islet encapsulation device research

    The Brehm and Greiner Labs Tested a Lockheed Martin Developed Pancreatic Islet Encapsulation Device

    The goal of this research was to create an implantable cell replacement device to be used as a therapy for people living with type 1 diabetes. A Lockheed Martin developed device to encapsulate insulin-producing beta cells to protect the cells from the autoimmune attack, while allowing those protected cells to survive and function, was tested in the novel humanized mouse models in the Brehm and Greiner labs.

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  • Diabetes CGM Article

    Continuous Glucose Monitors and Children with Type 1 Diabetes

    Parents of young children living with type 1 diabetes were asked about the pros and cons of using continuous glucose monitors.  They described the benefits and the challenges.  We asked members of our pediatric diabetes care team their thoughts. 

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  • David Harlan Endocrine Society

    Dr. David Harlan Presents "Going Beyond Insulin in Type 1 Diabetes" at the Endocrine Society's Fellows Conference

    Dr. David Harlan was invited to speak at the Endocrine Society's Fellows Series: Type 1 Diabetes Care and Management. His talk titled "Going Beyond Insulin: Emerging Options for T1D" presented options beyond insulin therapy for people living with diabetes, including GLP-1 and SGLT use. 

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  • Herman G. Berkman Diabetes Clinical Innovation Grant Awarded to Improve Inpatient Diabetes Care at UMass Memorial Hospitals

    Herman G. Berkman Diabetes Clinical Innovation Grant Awarded to Improve Inpatient Diabetes Care at UMass Memorial Hospitals

    The second annual Herman G. Berkman Diabetes Clinical Innovation Fund grant was awarded to Leslie J. Domalik, MD and co-investigator Asem Ali, MD.  Read about their project, intended to improve blood glucose control for all patients admitted to UMass Memorial hospitals who are living with diabetes. 

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  • The Harlan and Kent Labs Resolved a 30 Year Debate by Locating Beta Cells in People with Type 1 Diabetes That Express Important Immune Pathway Gene Products

    The Harlan and Kent Labs Resolved a 30 Year Debate by Locating Beta Cells in People with Type 1 Diabetes That Express Important Immune Pathway Gene Products

    Studying the islets of people with type 1 diabetes, the laboratories of David Harlan, MD and Sally Kent, PhD definitively put to rest a three decades old debate about whether beta cells express important immune genes called “human leukocyte antigen class II” (HLA Class II).

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  • Silvia Corvera Lab Adipocyte studies

    Corvera Lab is Creating "Good Fat" as a Potential Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes

    The laboratory of Silvia Corvera, MD, was featured on WCVB-TV/ABC in Boston and WJAR-TV/NBC of Providence about their research in which they are transforming white fat into beige fat, to harness its ability to burn energy, accelerate metabolism and fight disease.  VIDEO 

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  • Newly Published Research in the Brehm and Davis Labs Uncovered New Memory T Cells Data

    Newly Published Research in the Brehm and Davis Labs Uncovered New Memory T Cells Data

    Apoptosis of CD8 T cells is an essential mechanism that maintains immune system homeostasis, prevents autoimmunity, and reduces immunopathology.  Research from the Brehm and Davis laboratories at the UMass  Diabetes Center of Excellence, was published in The Journal of Immunology.  

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  • Rachel Stamateris diabetes beta cell research

    MD/PhD Candidate Rachel Stamateris Named Ruth L. Kirschstein Fellow

    Rachel Stamateris, an MD/PhD candidate at UMass Chan Medical School, was awarded a prestigious Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Individual Predoctoral Fellowship for dual-doctoral degree students, from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Her fellowship experience is intended to enhance Rachel’s integrated research and clinical training as predoctoral student. Over the next four years, this award will help to sponsor her research and promote her development into a productive, independent physician/clinician-scientist.  

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  • UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence Receives a $10.5K Gift From a Grateful Family

    UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence Receives a $10.5K Gift From a Grateful Family

    The First Annual Joe “Nuzzy” Memorial Golf Tournament raised $10,500, which was generously donated to the UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence (DCOE), to be used for continued patient care.  The family wants the money to help others being treated for diabetes at UMass Memorial.  They recently toured our research laboratories, and were impressed with what they saw.   
    FULL STORY

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  • Micheal Czech and Silvia Corvera

    Michael Czech and Silvia Corvera receive $2.5 million grant to advance potential therapy for type 2 diabetes

    Silvia Corvera, MD, and Michael Czech, PhD, are investigating whether technologies developed in their labs will harness beige fat’s ability to burn energy and accelerate metabolism in order to improve the body’s response to sugar and lower blood glucose levels.   

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  • Unexpected cell population slows down fat cells

    Unexpected cell population slows down fat cells

    Fat tissue has a remarkable capacity for growth. David A. Guertin, PhD, explains why his latest research of a fat-precursor cell which unexpectedly functions to suppress adipocyte production, is exciting to the future of combating obesity.  READ MORE

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  • How virus triggers type 1 diabetes

    Infectious Disease Expert Jennifer Wang Receives Funding to Identify Immune Responses and Investigate How Viruses Trigger Type 1 Diabetes

    Infectious disease and immunology expert Jennifer Wang, MD hopes to move closer to better understanding type 1 diabetes by working with a new animal model to identify pathways which could be stopped in order to prevent the disease from developing.  

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  • Kristin MacGregor Umass Memorial Diabetes

    Why Language is Important in Diabetes Management

    Words used to describe something shapes the way others perceive and value that thing. The culture in diabetes tends to be the disease defines the person. Changing language can make a world of difference, according to Kristin L. MacGregor, PhD, a former behavioral psychologist at the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence. 

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  • Cheryl Barry, RN Diabetes Education

    Care Team Spotlight: Cheryl Barry, RN, MS, CDCES

    Diabetes education has been shown to lower A1c by as much as 1%, which is similar to adding a medication but without side effects. Research has shown people who received diabetes education are more likely to utilize primary care and preventative services, take medications as prescribed and control their blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. As a result, those people have lower health costs.  The UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence offers an extensive education program covering a variety of topics. Both one-on-one sessions and group workshops are available.  

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  • René Maehr, PhD thymus development research

    The Maehr Lab's Thymus Development Study Featured as the Cover Story in Immunity

    Thymus development research in the lab of René Maehr, PhD was featured as the cover story in Immunity.  Single-cell RNA sequencing was used to illustrate a framework for biological discovery and molecular analysis of thymus organogenesis (the production and development of the organ).  READ MORE 

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  • Christine Hoogasian, Diabetes UMass Memorial

    The Role of a Nurse Practitioner in Diabetes Care

    Many patients do not understand the role and capabilities of a nurse practitioner (NP) when it comes to diabetes care.  NPs are taught both the medical model and the nursing model of care.  The scope of practice of a nurse practitioner varies from state to state. Meet Christine and learn how she provides care to patients at the UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence.   

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  • Roger Davis UMass Chan Medical School

    Roger Davis Elected into the National Academy of Sciences

    Roger J. Davis, PhD was elected into the National Academy of Sciences.  Membership in the NAS is one of the highest honors bestowed upon a scientist in the United States.  He joins four UMass Chan Medical School colleagues who have received membership in recognition of their for outstanding contributions to original research.  His work to explain the molecular mechanism by which inflammation contributes to diabetes, cancer and stroke has been among the most important in this field for more than two decades.  READ MORE

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  • Diabetes Center of Excellence

    Dr. David Harlan and Colleagues Nationwide Provided a Framework for Developing a Successful Diabetes Center of Excellence

    Although diabetes research centers are well defined by National Institutes of Health, there is no clear definition for clinical Diabetes Centers of Excellence (DCOE).  Dr. David Harlan, co-director, UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence collaborated on an article published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, in which they propose a framework to guide advancement for DCOE.  

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  • Nancy Morris UMass Diabetes

    Nancy Morris Receives Excellence in Nursing Education Award from American Nursing Association Massachusetts

    Nancy Morris, Adult Nurse Practitioner in the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence, was awarded the Excellence in Nursing Education Award from The American Nursing Association of Massachusetts.  It honors nurse educators for teaching, research and practice, recognizing innovative approaches to facilitate learning and professional development.  

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  • Sally Kent nPOD award

    Sally Kent receives Pioneer Award from the Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPod)

    Sally Kent, PhD, a scientist at the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence, was recognized by the Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes with a Pioneer Award for her "continued dedication to create a world free of type 1 diabetes.”  Jenny Aurielle Babon, PhD, a postdoc in the Kent Lab, presented some of their latest research during nPOD's Annual Scientific Meeting.   

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  • Silvia Corvera Adipocyte Research

    The Corvera Lab Sheds Light on Beige Fat as a Potential Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes

    The Corvera Lab at UMass Chan Medical School's Diabetes Center of Excellence shed light on the benefits of beige fat. Our body's fat has the ability to generate beige fat, which could potentially be deployed within ourselves to treat diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.

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  • Sean Collins Diabetes Air Force

    Diabetes Nurse Practitioner Sean Collins Joins the U.S. Defense Health Agency with Promotion to Air Force Brigadier General

    Distinguished UMass Diabetes nurse practitioner, Sean Collins, PhD, has been promoted to U.S. Army Reserves Brigadier General and will serve as a principal advisor to the Pentagon’s Director of Health Affairs on Guard and Reserve matters. BG Collins has served on the forefront of the diabetes epidemic for more than 30 years.  

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  • Diabetes Research at UMass Chan Medical School

    The Kent and Harlan Labs Isolated Immune Cells from Islets of Donors with Type 1 Diabetes

    Sally C. Kent, PhD, and Jenny Aurielle B. Babon, PhD, have isolated and characterized a large bank of live islet-infiltrating T cells directly from the islets of tissue donors with type 1 diabetes. The findings, published in Nature Medicine, have direct implications for the design of therapies and preventative strategies for people with type 1 diabetes and those at risk for developing it. 

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  • UMass Chan Medical School hosts American Diabetes Association Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes

    UMass Chan Medical School hosts American Diabetes Association Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes

    The UMass Diabetes Diabetes Center of Excellence once again hosted the Central MA Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes. The signature fundraising event for the American Diabetes Association takes place on the UMass Chan Medical School campus. This year, more than 1000 people participated, including DCOE faculty, staff & families. Entertainment included representatives from the Red Sox, Patriots, New England Revolution, Worcester Bravehearts & Worcester Railers.  PHOTOS 

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Patient Wall of Honor

After 10 years of taking oral medication for his type 2 diabetes, Dan's weight and A1c were both on the rise.  He was prescribed insulin by his primary care physician in Ohio, where he resides, but did not feel he was receiving the support necessary to improve his health. Dan's diabetes control greatly improved after he reconnected with his high school friend, Dr. David Harlan.  Dan's Story

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Jason Winters has been living with type 1 diabetes since he was 21 years old. After 10 years of uncontrolled blood sugars, his primary care physician referred him to the UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence. He arrived with a dangerously high A1c of 12.3% and today it's below 7%. His journey wasn't easy, but working with his care team and using the latest technology, Jason's diabetes is finally under control and his health is improving.
Meet Jason

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