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Diabetes and Metabolism

The body’s metabolism is a complex—and sometimes mysterious—process that allows humans to move, eat, drink, and think. When energy metabolism goes awry, a disruption of the hormone insulin can lead to diabetes, one of the most widely recognized metabolic disorders. As the incidence of diabetes increases across the globe, more than 133 million Americans are living with diabetes (37 million) or prediabetes (96 million).

For decades, Yale clinician-scientists have been at the forefront of research in diabetes and metabolic disorders. Their work has included the prototypes for an insulin pump that is used today by more than 350,000 people with diabetes, investigations into the cellular mechanisms underlying type 2 diabetes, and new drugs that target the brain’s appetite-regulating centers to reverse the effects of obesity. Most recently, endocrinologist Kevan Herold, MD, was the principal investigator of the first FDA-approved drug that can delay the onset of type 1 diabetes in children.

Advances in such technologies and medications to treat diabetes are made possible by the multidisciplinary research conducted at the Yale Diabetes Research Center, which includes nearly 100 independent member scientists, along with professional support staff, new investigators, and research trainees from more than a dozen YSM departments. This work fuels the clinical services provided by the Yale Diabetes Center, a regional resource for diabetes care and education supported by Yale Schools of Medicine and Nursing, and Yale New Haven Hospital, as well as the Yale Children’s Diabetes Program, which provides care to children of all ages who have had diabetes for years or are newly diagnosed. We also provide clinical services at the Yale Obesity Research Center, created to improve the lives and health of individuals with obesity. This record of achievement has given Yale its long-standing stature as a leader in diabetes and metabolic disorder research and treatment.

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