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Diabetes Basic Research Scientists at UMass Chan Medical School

UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence Co-Chairs

  • Dale L. Greiner

    Dale L. Greiner, PhD

    Dr. Eileen L. Berman and Stanley I. Berman Foundation Chair in Biomedical Research, Professor, Program in Molecular Medicine, Co-Director, Diabetes Center of Excellence at UMass Chan Medical School, Investigator at the JDRF Center of Excellence in New England

    Dr. Greiner is nationally and internationally recognized for pioneering the development and use of mice engrafted with functional human cells and tissues.  

    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.  The Greiner Lab utilizes unique animal models of human immune responses for investigating these approaches to downregulate as well as activate the human immune system.

    Greiner Lab     

  • David M. Harlan

    David M. Harlan, MD

    William and Doris Krupp Professor of Medicine and Co-Director, Diabetes Center of Excellence at UMass Chan Medical School, Investigator at the JDRF Center of Excellence in New England

    For more than 30 years, Dr. Harlan has conducted basic and clinical research exploring the pathophysiology underlying diabetes. His accomplishments and expertise are acclaimed worldwide as a diabetes investigator and physician.

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

    Harlan Lab         Clinical Profile             

Basic Research Faculty

  • Michael A. Brehm

    Michael A. Brehm, PhD

    Associate Professor, Program in Molecular Medicine, Co-Director, Humanized Mouse Core Facility, Investigator at the JDRF Center of Excellence in New England

    Interests: Understanding the immune mechanisms that regulate the development of human autoimmune disease. We've developed unique "humanized" mouse models of human immune responses, allowing us to investigate approaches to downregulate as well as activate the human immune system for the treatment of type 1 diabetes as well as potential cancer treatment.

    Brehm Lab      

  • Silvia Corvera

    Silvia Corvera, MD

    Chair in Diabetes Research, Director, MSTP (MD-PhD) Program, Professor, Program in Molecular Medicine

    Interests: Understanding the basic physiopathology of type 2 diabetes, specifically the role of adipocytes and adipose tissue physiology in diabetes pathogenesis. 

    Corvera Lab   

  • Michael P. Czech

    Michael P. Czech, PhD

    Isadore and Fannie Foxman Chair of Medical Research, Professor, Program in Molecular Medicine

    Interests: Our laboratory 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.

    Czech Lab    

  • Roger J. Davis

    Roger J. Davis, PhD, FRS

    H. Arthur Smith Chair in Biomedical Research, Chair, Program in Molecular Medicine, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, Fellow of the Royal Society, Member of the National Academy of Science

    Interests: The molecular mechanism by which inflammation contributes to diabetes, cancer and stroke. Our studies of stress signaling pathways have led to the discovery of new genes that contribute to the development of diabetes and other diseases. 

    Davis Lab     

  • David A. Guertin

    David A. Guertin, PhD

    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    

  • Sally C. Kent

    Sally C. Kent, PhD

    The George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Term Chair in Diabetes, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Investigator at the JDRF Center of Excellence in New England

    Interests: Autoimmune response in human type 1 diabetes. In particular, T cell responses to self-proteins.  We want to understand how and why these immune cells are attacking the insulin producing beta cells in people with T1D.

    Kent Lab       

  • Jason K. Kim

    Jason K. Kim, PhD

    Professor, Program in Molecular Medicine, Director, UMass Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center

    Interests: Our research investigates type 2 diabetes, obesity and diabetic heart disease. We're exploring the molecular link between inflammation and insulin resistance to understand how obesity causes diabetes and to find its cure.

    Kim Lab   

  • Hardy Kornfeld

    Hardy Kornfeld, MD

    Professor, Department of Medicine

    Interests: The impact of diabetes and hyperlipidemia on tuberculosis defense

    Kornfeld Lab 

  • René Maehr

    René Maehr, PhD

    Associate Professor, Program in Molecular Medicine, Investigator at the JDRF Center of Excellence in New England

    Interests: The molecular pathways that govern thymus organogenesis and function, and to translate this knowledge to stem cell approaches to recapitulate and investigate human immune syndromes associated with this organ, including type 1 diabetes.

    Maehr Lab

  • Louis M. Messina

    Louis M. Messina, MD

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

    Interests: Investigating new hematopoietic stem cell–based therapeutic approaches to treat type 2 diabetes and other common diseases. Determining the effects of T2D on wound healing and identifying the molecular and cellular mechanisms that could lead to potential therapies. 

    Messina Lab

  • Tiffany Moore Simas

    Tiffany Moore Simas, MD, MPH, MEd, FACOG

    Chair and Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Interests: Understanding the role that adipose tissue plays in gestational diabetes, as well as angiogenic biomarkers and gestational weight gain. 

    Moore Simas Lab

  • John P. Mordes

    John P. Mordes, MD

    Professor, Department of Medicine

    Interests: Basic and clinical research in the area of type 1 diabetes.

    UMass Profile

  • Shlomit Schaal

    Shlomit Schaal, MD, PhD, MHCM

    Professor and Chair, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences, President, UMass Memorial Medical Group

    Interests: Diabetic retinopathy and other complex vitreoretinal diseases. Her lab is investigating new ways to treat and prevent them.  

    Schaal Lab

  • Jennifer P. Wang

    Jennifer P. Wang, MD

    Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology

    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 

    J. Wang Lab

  • Yong-Xu Wang

    Yong-Xu Wang, PhD

    Associate Professor, Program in Molecular Medicine

    Interests: Brown fat development and browning of white fat. We particularly focus on transcriptional control, epigenetics, non-coding RNAs, and signaling molecules.

    Y. Wang Lab