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Co-Director, UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence

Dr. Harlan is internationally acclaimed as both a diabetes investigator and physician. 

Research

For more than three decades, he has conducted basic and clinical research exploring the pathophysiology underlying diabetes.  Dr. Harlan conducts clinical trials to test new therapies and explain human biology as it relates to diabetes and its treatment.  Current basic research in the Harlan lab focuses on exploring beta cell biology and the anti-beta cell immune response underlying type 1 diabetes. 

Patient Care

Since taking over as chief of the Diabetes Division at UMass Memorial Medical Center, and co-director of the Diabetes Center of Excellence, he has increased the volume and greatly improved the level of care in the Adult Diabetes Clinic.  Always striving to improve diabetes care delivery systems, he leads by example.  Patients under Dr. Harlan's care benefit from not only his extensive knowledge of the disease, but also the manner in which he listens to each individual and works with them when it comes to their diabetes management.  He believes that the person with diabetes is the most important member of their own care team.

HLA Class II antigen processing and presentation pathway components demonstrated by transcriptome and protein analyses of beta cells from donors with type 1 diabetes

Studying the islets of donors with type 1 diabetes, we definitively show that beta cells express these important immune pathway gene products, resolving a three decades long debate.  LEARN MORE 

Human islets expressing HNF1A variant have defective beta cell transcriptional regulatory networks

Isolating donated islets from a young man who had been treated for 17 years for presumed T1D, we found that a rare genetic defect had caused his beta cells to function improperly.  LEARN MORE

Alpha cell function and gene expression are compromised in type 1 diabetes

To better understand the functional and molecular properties of islets from donors with T1D, this research used an approach that studied the pancreas and isolated islets from the same donor, allowing better analysis of the development, properties and behavior of the islets.  LEARN MORE 

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