Diabetic Nephropathy Program

For people with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes, advances in clinical care, such as development of better glucose-lowering drugs and structured education programs, have led to considerable increases in life expectancy. – alternative: Despite the considerable advances in clinical care, and improved outcome, people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes still have lower life expectancy than the general population. Development of diabetic complications such as cardiovascular disease, nephropathy, neuropathy and eye disease remain the major cause of cost hospitalization and loss of life years.

The complications unit of the Institute of Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism (IDOM) aims to perform top quality research to understand the clinical course and pathomechanism of diabetic complications, such as cardiovascular and kidney disease. A focus of the program is diabetic nephropathy (kidney disease) in which the University of Pennsylvania team runs a multi-million dollar clinical observational cohort study; TRIDENT (Transformative Research in Diabetic Nephropathy) and one the largest human kidney tissue bank in the country. We combine our unbiased clinical observational studies with multi-omics approaches (genomics, epigenetics, proteomics and metabolomics) and mechanistic studies using cellular and animal model systems to identify key genes and pathways in the development of diabetic complications.

The overall aims of the unit are to define critical pathways that contribute to diabetic complications development and translate the acquired knowledge to novel diagnostic and therapeutic modalities.

Complications Unit Members


Katalin Susztak

Katalin Susztak, M.D., Ph.D.
Complications Unit
Director, Diabetic Nephropathy Program