faculty photo

Michael R. Rickels, M.D., M.S.

Willard and Rhoda Ware Professor in Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases
Department: Medicine

Contact information
12-134 Smilow Center for Translational Research
3400 Civic Center Boulevard
Philadelphia, Pa 19104
Office: (215) 746-0025
Fax: (215) 898-5408
B.A. (Mathematics major & Biology minor, Summa Cum Laude)
Colgate University , 1995.
M.D. (Top of the class)
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 1999.
M.S. (Translational Research)
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 2007.
Post-Graduate Training
Intern, Department of Medicine , Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 1999-2000.
Resident, Department of Medicine, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 2000-2001.
Fellow, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, 2001-2003.
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Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Rickels conducts patient-oriented diabetes research that aims at understanding the pathogenesis of various forms of diabetes and the in vivo mechanisms of new diabetes treatments. Dr. Rickels' research program is in particular focused on islet function and replacement in type 1 diabetes and pancreatogenic forms of diabetes such as cystic fibrosis-related diabetes. Dr. Rickels' studies involve methodologies for quantifying insulin and incretin secretion, insulin sensitivity, and glucose counterregulatory responses to hypoglycemia, and include oral glucose and mixed-meal tolerance tests, the frequently-sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test, the glucose-potentiated arginine test, and hyperinsulinemic euglycemic and hypoglycemic clamps incorporating stable glucose isotopes for determination of tissue specific insulin action and glucose counterregulatory mechanisms. Present work in type 1 diabetes is focused on understanding the mechanisms of defective glucose counterregulation and impaired awareness of hypoglycemia and novel approaches to the prevention or correction of hypoglycemia, including by beta-cell replacement (islet transplantation) therapy or artificial pancreas (closed-loop) technology. Present work in cystic fibrosis-related diabetes is directed at understanding the pathophysiology involved in the etiology of early defects in insulin secretion and the impact of different strategies for enhancing incretin effects on beta-cell function.

Description of Clinical Expertise

Dr. Rickels specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes, hypoglycemia disorders, and general endocrinologic problems. Dr. Rickels predominantly cares for patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and is particularly interested in pancreas and islet allotransplantation as therapies for type 1 diabetes, as well as islet autotransplantation for patients undergoing pancreatectomy. Coupled to his research interests in islet function and transplantation as well as closed-loop insulin delivery technology, Dr. Rickels is committed to translating complimentary approaches for cellular and artificial pancreas replacement as treatments for patients with difficult to control type 1 and pancreatogenic diabetes.

Selected Publications

Flatt AJS, Greenbaum CJ, Shaw JAM, Rickels MR: Pancreatic islet reserve in type 1 diabetes. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1495(1): 40-54, July 2021.

Rickels MR, Norris AW, Hull RL: A tale of two pancreases: exocrine pathology and endocrine dysfunction. Diabetologia 63(10): 2030-2039, October 2020.

Pratley RE, Kanapka LG, Rickels MR, Ahmann A, Aleppa G, Beck R, Bhargava A, Bode BW, Carlson A, Chaytor NS, Fox DS, Goland R, Hirsch IB, Kruger D, Kudva YC, Levy C, McGill JB, Peters A, Philipson L, Philis-Tsimikas A, Pop-Busui R, Shah VN, Thompson M, Vendrame F, Verdejo A, Weinstock RS, Young L, Miller KM; Wireless Innovation for Seniors with Diabetes Mellitus (WISDM) Study Group: Effect of continuous glucose monitoring on hypoglycemia in older adults with type 1 diabetes. JAMA 323(23): 2397-2406, June 2020.

Rickels MR, Evans-Molina C, Bahnson HT, Ylescupidez A, Nadeau KJ, Wei Hao W, Clements MA, Sherr JL, Pratley RE, Hannon TS, Shah VN, Miller KM, Greenbaum CJ; T1D Exchange β-Cell Function Study Group: High residual C-peptide likely contributes to glycemic control in type 1 diabetes. Journal of Clinical Investigation 130(4): 1850-1862, April 2020.

Vantyghem MC, de Koning EJP, Pattou F, Rickels MR: Advances in beta-cell replacement therapy for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Lancet 394(10205): 1274-1285, October 2019.

Rickels MR: Hypoglycemia associated autonomic failure, counterregulatory responses, and therapeutic options in type 1 diabetes. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1454(1): 68-79, October 2019 Notes: Special Issue: Autonomic Nervous System Regulation and Metabolic Diseases.

Hawkes CP, De Leon DD, Rickels MR: Novel preparations of glucagon for the prevention and treatment of hypoglycemia. Current Diabetes Reports 19(10): 97-107, September 2019.

Rickels MR, Robertson RP: Pancreatic islet transplantation in humans: recent progress and future directions. Endocrine Reviews 40(2): 631-688, April 2019 Notes: Selected for Endocrine Society Thematic Issue on Diabetes.

Rickels MR, Stock PG, de Koning EJP, Piemonti L, Pratschke J, Alejandro R, Bellin MD, Berney T, Choudhary P, Johnson PR, Kandaswamy R, Kay TWH, Keymeulen B, Kudva YC, Latres E, Langer RM, Lehmann R, Ludwig B, Markmann JF, Marinac M, Odorico JS, Pattou F, Senior PA, Shaw JAM, Vantyghem M-C, White S: Defining outcomes for beta-cell replacement therapy in the treatment of diabetes: a consensus report on the Igls Criteria from the IPITA/EPITA Opinion Leaders Workshop. Transplantation 102(9): 1479-1486, September 2018 Notes: Joint publication with Transplant International.

Rickels MR, Peleckis AJ, Dalton-Bakes C, Naji JR, Ran NA, Nguyen H-L, O'Brien S, Chen S, Lee I, Schutta MH: Continuous glucose monitoring for hypoglycemia avoidance and glucose counterregulation in long-standing type 1 diabetes. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism 103(1): 105-114, January 2018 Notes: Editor's Choice.

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Last updated: 01/31/2023
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