DCOE News

  • Friday, June 22, 2018 Exciting Diabetes Technology Approved by the FDA

    Exciting Diabetes Technology Approved by the FDA

    This week, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Tandem Diabetes Care’s new t:slim X2 Insulin pump with Basal-IQ technology, Medtronic’s MiniMed(TM) 670G system in patients with type 1 diabetes seven years of age and older, and the first ever implantable continuous glucose monitoring system (CGM).  LEARN MORE

  • Thursday, June 21, 2018

    BCG Trial Study

    Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have published a study which claims that a nearly century old vaccine against tuberculosis, may help people with type 1 diabetes.  News of this study is being carried throughout the media with attention grabbing headlines such as “Generic Vaccine Could Reverse Type 1 Diabetes” and “Common Vaccine May Reverse the Effects of Type 1 Diabetes.”  UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence scientists and clinicians recommend... READ MORE

  • Wednesday, June 20, 2018 The research lab of René Maehr, PhD was published with the cover story in the June 19 issue of Immunity.  A Single-Cell Transcriptomic Atlas of Thymus Organogenesis Resolves Cell Types and Developmental Maturation highlights their study on thymus development.

    The Maehr Lab's Study on Thymus Development Received the Cover Story in the June Issue of Immunity

    The research lab of René Maehr, PhD, was published with the cover story in the June 19 issue of Immunity.  A Single-Cell Transcriptomic Atlas of Thymus Organogenesis Resolves Cell Types and Developmental Maturation highlights their study on thymus development.  LEARN MORE 

  • Wednesday, June 13, 2018 Understanding the Role of a Nurse Practitioner in Diabetes Care

    Understanding 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 their diabetes care. NPs are taught two models of care, both the medical model and the nursing model.  The scope of practice of a Nurse Practitioner varies from state to state.  Meet one of the DCOE NPs and find out how she provides care to patients at the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence.  LEARN MORE

  • Tuesday, June 05, 2018 Insulin Access and Affordability: The Rising Cost of Treatment

    Insulin Access and Affordability: The Rising Cost of Treatment

    The average list price of insulin has nearly tripled between 2002 and 2013.  The American Diabetes Association recently provided new recommendations for improving insulin access and affordability.  The policy statement addresses four key areas. READ MORE

  • Tuesday, May 29, 2018 MD/PhD candidate Rachel Stamateris

    MD/PhD candidate Rachel Stamateris named Ruth L. Kirschstein Fellow

    Rachel Stamateris, an MD/PhD candidate at University of Massachusetts Medical School, has been 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.  READ MORE

  • Friday, May 18, 2018 Dr. Nwosu

    New study of youth with type 1 diabetes connects ‘honeymoon period’ with lower LDL cholesterol

    A new study by UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence physician-scientist Benjamin Nwosu, MD, finds that children with type 1 diabetes who experienced a partial clinical remission, or “honeymoon phase,” had significantly lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, five years after diagnosis. Children who do not undergo this honeymoon may experience worse outcomes over the long term—including cardiovascular disease.  READ MORE

  • Wednesday, May 16, 2018 Alonso Lab Published in the Latest Issue of Diabetes

    Alonso Lab Published in the Latest Issue of Diabetes

    Type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk has a strong genetic component.  Genetic studies have already linked a region of the human genome called CDKN2A/B with the risk of T2D, but how and why it increases T2D risk remains unknown.  Our research, funded by a grant by the American Diabetes Association in collaboration with the Order of the Amaranth, took an in-depth look at the specific and subtle ways that these genes impact the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells.  READ MORE

  • Wednesday, May 09, 2018 State of Behavioral Health Integration in U.S. Diabetes Care: How Close Are We to ADA Recommendations?

    State of Behavioral Health Integration in U.S. Diabetes Care: How Close Are We to ADA Recommendations?

    In 2016 the American Diabetes Association recommended including behavioral/mental health professionals on the care team for people living with diabetes. This recommendation was also included in the ADA’s 2018 Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes.  DCOE Behavioral Psychologists, Samantha A. Barry, PhD and Kristin L. MacGregor, PhD, were published in the April 2018 issue of Diabetes Care, examining exactly how close diabetes healthcare in the U.S. really is to meeting those recommendations.  READ MORE

  • Monday, May 07, 2018 Low-Carb Diet Might Aid People With Type 1 Diabetes

    Low-Carb Diet Might Aid People With Type 1 Diabetes

    David Harlan, MD, co-director of the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence, was quoted in today's New York Times article about a new study published in the journal Pediatrics which found that children and adults with type 1 diabetes who followed a very low-carb, high-protein diet for an average of just over two years, combined with insulin at smaller doses than typically required on a normal diet, had “exceptional” blood sugar control and low rates of major complications.  "Perhaps the surprise is that for this large number of patients it is much safer than many experts would have suggested.  I’m excited to see this paper,” Dr. Harlan added. “It should reopen the discussion about whether this is something we should be offering our patients as a therapeutic approach.”  READ THE FULL ARTICLE

  • Thursday, May 03, 2018 DCOE Scientist Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

    DCOE Scientist Elected to the National Academy of Sciences

    Roger J. Davis, PhD has been elected to 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 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

  • Tuesday, April 10, 2018

    Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor Wears CGM to Work

    When four electronic pings sounded during a Supreme Court argument, the device belonged to Justice Sonia Sotomayor and was alerting the justice that her blood sugar was urgently low.  The 63-year-old justice has had diabetes since childhood, but the sound was the first public notice that she was using a continuous glucose monitor.  READ MORE

  • Wednesday, March 28, 2018

    New Technology Approved to Better Manage Diabetes

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved new integrated technology to help people with diabetes control their blood glucose. 
    READ MORE

  • Wednesday, March 14, 2018 Clinical Diabetes Centers of Excellence: A Model for Future Adult Diabetes Care

    Clinical Diabetes Centers of Excellence: A Model for Future Adult Diabetes Care

    Although diabetes research centers are well defined by National Institutes of Health, there is no clear definition for clinical Diabetes Centers of Excellence (DCOEs). There are multiple clinical diabetes centers across the United States, however, it is not clear what defines a DCOE from a clinical perspective and what the future will be for these centers. Dr. David Harlan, Co-Director of the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence, co-authored an article published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, in which they propose a framework to guide advancement for DCOEs.  READ MORE

  • Monday, March 12, 2018 Alpha Cell Function and Gene Expression Are Compromised in Type 1 Diabetes

    Alpha Cell Function and Gene Expression Are Compromised in Type 1 Diabetes

    As part of a research team lead by Drs. Marcela Brissova and Alvin C. Powers (Vanderbilt University), the research laboratories of UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence co-directors, David Harlan, MD and Dale Greiner, PhD, in collaboration with established investigators from a consortium of institutions throughout the country, have been published in the latest issue of Cell Reports. READ MORE

  • Thursday, March 08, 2018 Boston Ithaca Islet Club Annual Meeting to be Held at UMass Medical School

    Boston Ithaca Islet Club Annual Meeting to be Held at UMass Medical School

    Dr. Laura Alonso will be hosting the upcoming Boston Ithaca Islet Club Annual Meeting, the weekend of April 28-29, at the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence. The two-day forum gathers scientists researching pancreatic islet function, development, growth, immunology and transplantation.  Participants include graduate students, post-doctoral fellows and established investigators from academic centers around the northeast United States and Canada.  READ MORE

  • Wednesday, March 07, 2018 Dr. Nancy Morris receives Excellence in Nursing Education Award from American Nursing Association  Massachusetts

    Dr. Nancy Morris receives Excellence in Nursing Education Award from American Nursing Association  Massachusetts

    Congratulations to Dr. Nancy Morris, Adult Nurse Practitioner in the UMass Diabetes Center, for winning the Excellence in Nursing Education Award.  The award honors nurse educators for teaching, research and practice. It recognizes nurse educators who use innovative approaches to facilitate learning and professional development. READ MORE 

  • Friday, March 02, 2018

    Dr. Harlan Weighs In On New Community HELP Program

    UMass Memorial Health Care is now part of an easy-to-use website that allows the community and service providers to search for and refer to programs they need. The website, Community HELP.com, stands for Health and Everyday Living Programs.  Dr. David M. Harlan, co-director of the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence, feels the website will support patients’ ability to help themselves. “Are the patients engaged? Because if they’re engaged, they’ll do better.”  READ MORE

  • Wednesday, February 28, 2018 Dr. Kent receives Pioneer Award from the Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes

    Dr. Kent receives Pioneer Award from the Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes

    Sally C. Kent, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Medicine in the Diabetes Division, Diabetes Center of Excellence at UMass Medical School, was recognized by the Network for Pancreatic Organ Donors with Diabetes (nPOD) with a Pioneer Award for her “continued dedication to create a world free of Type 1 Diabetes.”  Jenny Aurielle B. Babon, Ph.D., a Post Doctoral Associate in the Kent Lab, gave a poster and oral presentation at the nPOD Annual Scientific Meeting about their findings looking at the white blood cells from within the islets of a recent-onset T1D donor.  The donor had been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes just five months before he passed away, at the age of 23.  READ MORE

  • Friday, October 27, 2017 Dr. Nwosu, MD

    Benjamin Nwosu confirms accuracy of simple method to detect honeymoon period in children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes

    Newly diagnosed children with type 1 diabetes sometimes experience a “honeymoon period” during which they are still secreting some insulin on their own and their blood glucose levels can temporarily be restored to at or near normal levels.  A study conducted by UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence physician-scientist Benjamin Nwosu, MD, has confirmed the accuracy of a new, simple method to determine whether children newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes are experiencing this beneficial partial clinical remission.  READ MORE

  • Monday, February 13, 2017

    Researchers at UMMS are studying how beige fat may be able to help speed up metabolism to treat obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

    What is beige fat and what does it do?  Sylvia Corvera, MD explains how UMass researchers are growing these cells and looking into the potential of using them to help people lose weight.  CLICK TO VIEW VIDEO

  • Tuesday, December 20, 2016

    DCOE participates in Artificial Pancreas Study

    The bionic pancreas system developed by Boston University (BU) investigators proved better than either conventional or sensor-augmented insulin pump therapy at managing blood sugar levels in patients with type 1 diabetes living at home, with no restrictions, over 11 days. The report of a clinical trial led by a Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) along with three other institutions, including the University of Massachusetts Medical School DCOE, is receiving advance online publication in The Lancet READ MORE

  • Thursday, December 01, 2016

    New Emphasis on Health Behaviors and Diabetes

    The UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence is one of five nationally recognized institutions in the U.S. chosen by Bringing Science Home for a collaborative training program to increase capacity in diabetes psychology. The program will train postdoctoral fellows for one year at five nationally recognized diabetes clinical research institutions, including University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Samantha Barry, PhD, the UMass DCOE’s new postdoctoral fellow, will be working with Dr. Kristin MacGregor to improve health behaviors and general mental health as they relate to diabetes management. Dr. Barry will be seeing people with diabetes in both the adult and pediatric clinics as well as conducting diabetes research. Her particular interests include pediatric diabetes psychology, family stress as it relates to diabetes care, and diabetes management in psychosocially vulnerable populations.  READ MORE

  • Sunday, November 13, 2016

    Sean Collins Joins the United States Defense Health Agency

    As reported in August, one of the DCOE’s distinguished nurse practitioners, Sean Collins, PhD, UMMS Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Nursing, has been promoted to U.S. Army Reserves Brigadier General (BG) 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. He has seen the development of new insulins and other glucose control medicines, better pumps to administer insulin, improved systems for patient self monitoring, and new care management paradigms.  Moreover, he’s helped implement those treatment advances for his patients’ benefit.  He started as a clinical specialist in dialysis.  That work led him to realize that 60% of patients on dialysis had that fate due to either high blood pressure or diabetes, so he redirected his efforts toward prevention. While he sees diabetes patients at the DCOE, General Collins also works on preventing diabetes among military veterans. “In the military, we now focus on healthy life style,” says General Collins, as he champions diabetes prevention among soldiers, returning veterans, and civilians.
    READ MORE

  • Sunday, November 13, 2016 The New OCT Angiography Machine is Great News for UMass Diabetes Patients

    The New OCT Angiography Machine is Great News for UMass Diabetes Patients

    A new cutting-edge Optical Coherence Tomography (OTC) machine is now available to UMass patients at the Hahnemann Campus.  Themachine allows clinicians to observe fine details of the normal and abnormal retinal vasculature affected by diabetic retinopathy. A non-invasive technology with no dye required provides a huge advantage for patients who can now have an advanced retinal exam as part of their diabetes care.

    The OCT machine uses a unique algorithm that detects movement of red blood cells and can separate and visualize different layers of the retina and choroid vasculature. The software has a color coded option that allows depth visualization of the retinal blood flow, giving clinicians an opportunity to look at various retinal diseases from a completely different perspective. Clinician Scientists in the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the University of Massachusetts  are looking forward to making new discoveries that will change the way they treat and diagnose diabetic retinopathy. 

    LEARN MORE AND SEE PHOTOS HERE

  • Monday, October 31, 2016 Kent Lab

    UMMS researchers isolate immune cells from the islets of donors with type 1 diabetes

    In a highly collaborative effort, scientists at UMass Medical School 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 those with type 1 diabetes and those at risk for developing it.  Using live islets from nine type 1 diabetic donors, which is the largest cohort studied thus far, Sally C. Kent, PhD, assistant professor of medicine in the Diabetes Center of Excellence, and Jenny Aurielle B. Babon, PhD, postdoctoral fellow, sorted live lymphocytes from the islets by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS), and also used an improved tissue culture method they developed to grow lymphocytes from the islets. Overall, Dr. Kent derived 236 T cell lines from the islets and analyzed the function of 50 lines, discovering the specific reactivities of 18 lines.  READ MORE

  • Friday, October 14, 2016 Dr. Schaal Speaks on Diabetic Retinopathy

    Dr. Schaal Speaks on Diabetic Retinopathy

    At the October 11, 2016 Endocrine Grand Rounds, the DCOE was privileged to host Dr. Shlomit Schaal, the new head of the UMMHC/UMMS Ophthalmology Department. Her talk addressed misconceptions regarding traditional understanding of diabetic retinopathy as well as new findings to help guide diagnosis and future treatments. Traditional thinking has been that diabetes eye complications are due exclusively to small blood vessel damage but Dr. Schaal presented innovative research suggesting that changes to the retina’s photoreceptors may play a more active role than has previously been appreciated. Dr. Schaal also emphasized the importance of early diagnosis  and new treatment approaches, and discussed the advantages of the advanced OCT technology we hope to soon have available for our DCOE patients.

  • Monday, September 26, 2016

    Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes

    On Saturday, September 24th, the 2016 Central MA Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes took place on the UMass Medical School University Campus. This lively, fun-filled event saw more than 1000 participants which included DCOE faculty, staff and family. This is a dramatic increase from its first campus debut in 2010 with about 370 participants. Participants enjoyed either a one-mile or three-mile course, a Diabetes Information Expo & Family Fun Day, On hand for entertainment were representatives from The Red Sox, Patriots, New England Revolution, Worcester Bravehearts, and Worcester Railers. The event is on track to raise its $250,000 goal which goes towards research and programs for prevention, better management and ultimately a cure.  

  • Wednesday, September 14, 2016

    Dr. David Harlan to serve as a Judge

    The DCOE co-director, Dr. David Harlan, will serve as a judge for the Diabetes Innovation Challenge that seeks to find transformational advancements in diabetes. The Challenge is organized by the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Center (M2D2), in partnership with T1D Exchange, a nonprofit focused on accelerating innovations that improve outcomes in type 1 diabetes, present the first Diabetes Innovation Challenge. This exciting multi-staged event is an opportunity to identify, support, and incubate transformational innovations in types 1 and 2 diabetes. 

    READ MORE

  • Wednesday, August 24, 2016

    Sean Collins Promoted to Brigadier General

    One of the DCOE’s distinguished nurse practitioners, Sean Collins, PhD, UMMS Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Nursing, has been promoted to U.S. Army Reserves Brigadier General (BG) 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. He has seen the development of new insulins and other glucose control medicines, better pumps to administer insulin, improved systems for patient self monitoring, and new care management paradigms.  Moreover, he’s helped implement those treatment advances for his patients’ benefit.  He started as a clinical specialist in dialysis.  That work led him to realize that 60% of patients on dialysis had that fate due to either high blood pressure or diabetes, so he redirected his efforts toward prevention. While he sees diabetes patients at the DCOE, General Collins also works on preventing diabetes among military veterans. “In the military, we now focus on healthy life style,” says General Collins, as he champions diabetes prevention among soldiers, returning veterans, and civilians.

    READ MORE

  • Friday, July 29, 2016

    Dr. Louis Messina Fixes Rare Condition

    Dr. Louis Messina, UMass Memorial Medical Center's Division Chief for Vascular Surgery and an investigator at the Diabetes Center of Excellence, performed second surgery on a young woman with middle aortic syndrome, a disease found in less than 1 in 100,000 people. 

    READ MORE

  • Friday, July 22, 2016

    Michael Brehm Speaks at the Tumor Models Meeting

    Dr. Michael Brehm was invited to participate in the Tumor Models meeting recently held in Boston to lead a 3-hour workshop to discuss the advantage of using humanized mouse models to study human tumor-immune interactions. A focus of Dr. Brehm’s research program is to use immunodeficient mice engrafted with human immune systems to identify new targetable pathways that will promote immune responses to human malignancies. The workshop included a discussion on model selection, experiment design, data analysis.

    READ MORE

  • Friday, July 15, 2016

    Agata Jurczyk Selected for Diabetes Research Connection Funding

    Diabetes Research Connection has selected a DCOE scientist Agata Jurczyk for a new study aiming to Identify Biomarkers for Susceptibility to Both Type 1 Diabetes and Mental Disorders. Recent studies show that patients with diabetes have a much higher likelihood of depression than the general population, and young people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) had 11 times the suicide rate. Our goal is to identify genetic signatures in white blood cells that distinguish non-progressor T1D patients and T1D patients that do progress to psychiatric illness. 

    Read more.

  • Wednesday, March 16, 2016 Sally Kent Recognized for Collaborative Research

    Sally Kent Recognized for Collaborative Research

    Sally C. Kent, PhD, assistant professor of medicine, was recently recognized at the Network for Pancreatic Donors with Diabetes (nPOD) 8th Annual Scientific Session in Miami as a “champion of the collaborative spirit.” Dr. Kent was presented with the Spirit of nPOD award for her work with the members of and projects within nPOD.

    READ MORE

  • Tuesday, March 15, 2016

    Funding for Genetic Analysis

    UMMS researchers Rene Maehr, Ph.D, and Dr. David Harlan are awarded funding for genetic analysis of two families of high incidence of Type 1 Diabetes. The team is working to identify new genetic markers of Type 1 Diabetes thanks to a seed grant from the Helmsley Breakthrough Initiative of The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

  • Monday, March 14, 2016 Type 2 Diabetes and Schizophrenia

    Type 2 Diabetes and Schizophrenia

    It has long been known that psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, have been associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. In a new study conducted by a UMass Medical School research team, led by Rita Bortell, PhD and Agata Jurczyk, PhD, found that a shared gene (or genes) may underlie the co-occurrence of both diseases. 

    READ MORE

  • Thursday, December 24, 2015 News Image

    Dale Greiner Ph. D collaborates with researchers from Harvard and MIT

    UMass Medical School investigator Dale Greiner, Ph. D, collaborated with researchers from Harvard and MIT on a novel approach to shielding pancreatic beta cells from attacks by the human immune system. The entire process was tested at the UMMS on immunodefficient humanized mice.

    READ MORE