Type 2 Diabetes Unit
There are currently over 15 million people in this country with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), which consumes over 100 billion dollars in health care costs. In spite of substantial advances in the understanding of the disease process in recent years, disappointingly little has been translated into novel therapeutics. The development of new treatment and prevention modalities requires a concerted effort both to understand the normal regulation of fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism in relevant in vitro systems and model organisms, as well as to further characterize the disease process in humans. The development of T2DM involves pathology in multiple organs, most notably muscle, liver, adipocytes and beta cells, and it will only be through a process of relating the cell biology to physiological and ultimately pathophysiological processes that advances are made. In addition, a fundamental property of T2DM is its virtual exclusive occurrence in overweight individuals, emphasizing the absolute necessity of understanding the relationship of adiposity to T2DM.
The goals of this Unit include the promotion of top quality basic and clinical research in the areas of metabolism, insulin action and secretion, and, equally importantly, encouraging productive collaborative interactions between bench scientists and clinicians. In addition, maintaining the highest qualities of patient care, providing diabetes education to clinicians, researchers, students and patients, and fostering active collaborations among diverse members of the Penn community are critical to our mission.