Basic Research Faculty

  • Laura C. Alonso

    Laura C. Alonso, MD

    Associate Professor, George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Foundation Term Chair in Diabetes, Director, Beta Cell Biological Studies

    Interests: Type 2 diabetes genetics, beta cell generation, and beta cell stress tolerance   

    Alonso Lab          UMass Profile          Clinical Profile

  • Michael Brehm

    Michael Brehm, PhD

    Associate Professor, Robert and Sandra Glass Term Chair in Diabetes

    Interests: Understanding the immune mechanisms that regulate human T cell responses. We are investigating human T cell biology in 3 distinct areas: the role of positive and negative costimulatory signals in controlling antigen-specific T cell responses; the ability of CD4+/FOXP3+ Treg to suppress antigen-specific T cells responses; and defining the thymic developmental stages for human autoreactive T cells.

    Lab          UMass Profile

  • Silvia Corvera

    Silvia Corvera, PhD

    Professor, Program in Molecular Medicine

    Interests: How cells and organisms sense, generate, utilize and store energy. Diabetes is a  disease associated with altered metabolism. We hope our research will lead to a better understanding and treatment.  

    UMass Profile

  • Michael Czech

    Michael Czech, PhD

    Chair and Professor, Program in Molecular Medicine

    Interests: Our laboratory group is dedicated to the discovery of molecular mechanisms whereby insulin signaling regulates energy homeostasis. This includes RNAi screens, digital imaging and TIRF microscopy, phenotyping mice with gene knockouts and analysis of human adipose tissues. We hope to translate our findings to the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes.

    UMass Profile

  • Roger Davis

    Roger Davis, PhD

    Professor of molecular medicine and biochemistry & molecular pharmacology, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, member of the Royal Society in his native United Kingdom, member of the National Academy of Sciences.

    Interests: The molecular mechanism by which inflammation contributes to diabetes, cancer and stroke.  His research has been among the most important in this field for more than two decades. His studies of stress signaling pathways have led to the discovery of new genes that contribute to the development of diabetes and other diseases. 

    UMass Profile

  • Dale L. Greiner

    Dale L. Greiner, PhD

    Dr. Eileen L. Berman and Stanley I. Berman Foundation Chair in Biomedical Research Professor, Co-Director, Diabetes Center of Excellence

    Interests: Human immune responses, both how to turn them off for the treatment of type 1 diabetes and autoimmunity and conversely, to use the same pathways to turn the immune response on for the treatment of cancer.  We utilize our unique animal models of human immune responses for investigating these approaches to downregulate as well as activate the human immune system.

    Greiner Lab          UMass Profile

  • David Guertin

    David Guertin, PhD

    Associate Professor, Program in Molecular Medicine

    Interests: Understanding how insulin resistance develops especially in obesity and lipodystrophy.  Identifying therapeutic strategies to improve how the body processes blood sugar (glucose). Exploring the biochemical mechanisms controlling cell growth and metabolism and their significance to the pathogenesis of metabolic diseases including type 2 diabetes.

    Guertin Lab          UMass Profile

  • David M. Harlan

    David M. Harlan, MD

    William & Doris Krupp Professor of Medicine, Chief, Diabetes Division, Department of Medicine, Co-Director, Diabetes Center of Excellence

    Interests: Exploring beta cell biology and the anti-beta cell immune response underlying T1D. We have developed innovative techniques to sort human pancreatic islet endocrine cell subsets, including from donors with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, to determine the transcriptome from those purified cells.  Working to develop better diabetes care delivery models.

    Harlan Lab           UMass Profile            Clinical Profile                

  • Sally Kent

    Sally Kent, PhD

    Associate Professor

    Interests: My research focus is in the area of the autoimmune response in human type 1 diabetes. In particular, I am interested in the T cell responses to self-proteins (autoimmunity). 

    Kent Lab          UMass Profile

  • Jason K. Kim

    Jason K. Kim, PhD


    Interests: Our research investigates obesity, diabetes and its complications. The goal of our research is to understand how obesity causes diabetes and to find its cure.

    UMass Profile

  • Hardy Kornfeld

    Hardy Kornfeld, MD


    Interests: The impact of diabetes and hyperlipidemia on Tuberculosis defense

    UMass Profile

  • Yunsheng Ma

    Yunsheng Ma, MD, PhD, MPH

    Associate Professor

    Interests: We are interested in prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes, as well as racial/ethnic disparities in the prevalence, incidence, treatment, medical and survival outcomes among diabetic patients.

    UMass Profile

  • René Maehr

    René Maehr, PhD

    Associate Professor in Molecular Medicine, The Glass Charitable Foundation Term Chair in Diabetes

    Interests: Understanding the basic mechanisms of human immune syndromes

    Maehr Lab          UMass Profile

  • Louis Messina

    Louis Messina, MD

    Professor of Surgery, The Johnnie Ray Cox Term Chair in Biomedical Research, Vice Chair, Department of Surgery

    Interests: Identifying the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate collateral artery enlargement in order to develop new treatment paradigms for patients with peripheral artery disease. 

    Messina Lab          UMass Profile

  • John P. Mordes

    John P. Mordes, MD


    Interests: Our laboratory conducts basic and clinical research in the area of type 1 diabetes.

    Clinical Profile

  • Jennifer Wang

    Jennifer Wang, MD

    Associate Professor

    Interests: How innate immune responses contribute to autoimmune disease processes, in particular how activation of inflammatory pathways and type I interferon can lead to type 1 diabetes 

    UMass Profile          Clinical Profile

  • Chaoxing Yang

    Chaoxing Yang, PhD

    Assistant Professor

    Interests: Identify T1D-specific biomarkers, elucidate the mechanism of T1D initiation and progression during the early asymptomatic stage of the disease and develop a non-invasive screening system for early T1D risk assessment.

    Lab        UMass Profile