Read the latest news from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s Center for Diabetes and Metabolism. The links below take you to articles where you can learn more about our faculty’s latest achievements, awards, and honors.
The Center for Diabetes and Metabolism members are deeply involved with research throughout Northwestern Medicine and Northwestern University, as well as with national and international associations and organizations dedicated to diabetes, metabolism, and obesity research.
Learn more about our affiliated departments and centers via the links below.
- Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Molecular Medicine
- Northwestern University Program in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hormone Action (NUPEDHA)
- Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS),
- Northwestern SCOR, “Genes, Androgens and Intrauterine Environment in PCOS”
Welcome to the Center for Diabetes and Metabolism website. The center is the home for clinical, educational, and scientific discovery for diabetes and obesity-related programs throughout our university system and amongst our clinical partners. Within our center, we study diabetes, obesity, and metabolic disorders, and offer research-driven treatments through Northwestern Medical Group.
Our goal is to bring together the efforts related to diabetes, metabolism, and obesity at Northwestern Medicine under one center to better collaborate and share information and resources. This includes:
- Basic research happening across a variety of specialties and multiple areas at the university
- The translational research of Northwestern University Center for the Advancement of Diabetes Translational Research (NUCADRe) as they amplify the productivity, scale, and impact of Diabetes Translational Research and develop methodologic expertise and resources that advance the science of DTR
- Clinical research efforts across Northwestern Medicine and Feinberg-affiliated hospitals
We are excited and confident that Northwestern Medicine is uniquely poised to establish a premier center to implement team-based clinical care for individuals with diabetes and obesity and to catalyze bench-to-bedside advances to tailor our approach and personalize the care of each patient. Additionally, we envision that the new center will foster an interdisciplinary environment to identify new inroads to fight disease–enabling Northwestern to achieve international leadership as a major medical center combating this rising epidemic.
We will incorporate genetic, molecular, and physiological breakthroughs into the development of effective interventions and treatments for our Feinberg-affiliated hospitals and clinics, accelerating our ability to fight diabetes and obesity, ranging from studies of gestational diabetes and pregnancy risk, to disorders of sleep and circadian rhythms in diabetes, to polycystic ovarian syndrome as a risk of diabetes, and to the pervasive challenge of obesity and metabolic syndrome risk.
We thank you for visiting our site. Please contact us with your questions and comments.
The Center for Diabetes and Metabolism looks to fully integrate clinical care, discovery, education, and community-based prevention of diabetes, obesity, and related conditions. A primary mission of our center is to enhance the quality of diabetes care for Feinberg-affiliated clinical sites patients through seamless coordinated support for all of the healthcare needs individuals encounter. The Center for Diabetes and Metabolism is also home to a diverse cadre of scientific teams pairing leading scientists and clinicians to make exciting breakthroughs that will deliver implement emerging technologies in diabetes management, and identify innovative pathways for therapeutics and prevention.
We welcome you to learn more about us via the links below.
- Directors’ Message
Meet our directors, Ronald Ackermann, MD/MPH, and Joseph Bass, MD, PhD, and learn more about their vision for our center
Learn how Northwestern has contributed to discovery in the fields of diabetes, metabolism, and obesity
Help support our center in our goals
Learn about our partners in our work
Find the latest on faculty successes
Attend an upcoming seminar or event
- Contact Us
Connect with our center
- Directors’ Message
The Center for Diabetes and Metabolism has a long history of education and leadership in our areas of research. The following outlines the discoveries and accomplishments of Feinberg faculty who’ve made an impact on discovery in our field and helped push the science forward.
Diabetes During Pregnancy
In the 1960s, Northwestern established itself as a leader in studying the impact of diabetes on maternal-child health. Through pioneering work led by Dr. Norbert Freinkel, some of the first treatment programs for pregnant women with diabetes were developed, which helped to dramatically lower complications in both mothers and their children. Further work by Dr. Freinkel focused on understanding why some women develop gestational diabetes, i.e., diabetes which develops during pregnancy. During Dr. Freinkel’s career, he worked with many other Northwestern University physicians and scientists including Boyd Metzger, MD, who established the current guidelines for the diagnosis of gestational diabetes through a large multicenter clinical study. An outgrowth of this study was a large genetic study which identified novel genetic links to gestational glucose metabolism. Ongoing translational research studies at Northwestern are seeking to further explore these novel genetic links to gestational glucose metabolism and enhance our understanding of maternal metabolism during pregnancy and its interaction with fetal growth.
Circadian Clock and Metabolism
Northwestern researchers were the first to understand, at the gene level, that disrupting our internal clocks can lead to diseases such as obesity and diabetes, revolutionizing the direction of future research. A breakthrough in the field of body clocks and diabetes began at Northwestern 20 years ago with the discovery that mutation of the gene encoding the transcription factor CLOCK leads to altered sleep, feeding activity, obesity and diabetes (Science 2005). Subsequent work has shown the clock genes, which maintain internal timing of our sleep-wake cycle with the light-dark cycle, also play a key role in insulin secretion through regulation of genes essential in pancreatic beta cell function (Nature 2010, 2012; Science 2015). The clock also plays a major role in adjusting whole body metabolism in response to nutrient through the control of pathways involving the pivotal energy carrier molecule and therapeutic target NAD+ (Science 2009, 2013). Our diabetes center is at the forefront of combining genetic, genomic, and physiologic studies to understand how the body clock and sleep impact glucose homeostasis in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. New drug pathways have begun to emerge from this endeavor that may some day improve the treatment of diabetes.