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Basic Research Faculty

  • Laura C. Alonso

    Laura C. Alonso, MD

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

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

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  • Michael Brehm

    Michael Brehm, PhD

    Associate Professor, Robert and Sandra Glass Term Chair in Diabetes

    Interests: Understand the immune mechanisms that regulate human T cell responses. We are investigating human T cell biology in 3 distinct areas; 1) the role of positive and negative costimulatory signals in controlling antigen-specific T cell responses, 2) the ability of CD4+/FOXP3+ Treg to suppress antigen-specific T cells responses and 3) defining the thymic developmental stages for human autoreactive T cells.

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  • Silvia Corvera

    Silvia Corvera, PhD

    Professor, Program in Molecular Medicine

    Interests: How cells and organisms sense, generate, utilize and store energy. Many diseases are associated with altered metabolism, including diabetes and cancer. We hope our research will lead to a better understanding and treatment. Also, the mechanism by which phosphoinositides control signal transduction and membrane trafficking in the endosomal system. 

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  • 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.

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  • 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: Explain 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 these devastating diseases. Current work studies the design of novel therapeutic strategies.

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  • Manuel Garber

    Manuel Garber, PhD

    Associate Professor of Molecular Medicine

    Interests: The Functional Genome, Evolution of non-coding genes and Gene regulation

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  • 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: New approaches for identifying the cause of human disease, including diabetes, transplantation and cancers, using a unique model system termed “humanized” mice that permits the study of functional human cells and tissues without putting human patients at risk.

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  • 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). 

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  • 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: Tolerance mechanisms and organ/tissue transplantation, autoimmune illnesses, especially insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, human beta cell biology, and improving diabetes care delivery systems

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  • John E. Harris

    John E. Harris, MD, PhD

    Associate Professor

    Interests: Loss of autoimmune tolerance in juvenile diabetes and better understanding autoimmunity in vitiligo, with a particular focus on developing more effective treatments.  Studies have suggested that vitiligo may be more common in people with type 1 diabetes.

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  • 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). 

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  • 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.

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  • Hardy Kornfeld

    Hardy Kornfeld, MD


    Interests: The impact of diabetes and hyperlipidemia on Tuberculosis defense

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  • 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.

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  • 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

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  • Lou Messina

    Lou Messina, MD

    Professor, Chief, Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Vice Chair, General 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. 

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  • John P. Mordes

    John P. Mordes, MD


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

    Clinical Profile

  • Gregory J Pazour

    Gregory J Pazour, PhD


    Interests: We are interested in the function of the mammalian primary cilium. These organelles play vital roles in the development of mammals and in the etiology of diseases such as polycystic kidney disease and blindness.

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  • 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 

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  • 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.

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