Principal Investigator

Mitchell A. Lazar, M.D, Ph.D. 

Willard and Rhoda Ware Professor in Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases 
Director, Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism

Mitchell A. Lazar, M.D, Ph.D. 


Dr. Mitchell Lazar is the Willard and Rhoda Ware Professor in Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases, the Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism, and the Director of the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, then received a PhD in Neurosciences and an MD from Stanford University. He trained in Internal Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and  in Endocrinology at the Massachusetts General Hospital before joining the University of Pennsylvania faculty in 1989.

Dr. Lazar discovered the circadian nuclear receptor Rev-erbα, as well as its heme ligand, transcriptional repression, and interactions with corepressors and histone deacetylases. His work has demonstrated the fundamental importance of Rev-erb and its corepressor complex in the physiology of circadian rhythms and organismal metabolism. Dr. Lazar also discovered that another nuclear receptor, PPARγ, is predominantly expressed in adipocytes and also pioneered the linkage of PPARγ to adipocyte differentiation, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes. He also led the way to a genome-wide understanding of PPARγ function, and discovered resistin as a novel adipocyte hormone that impairs insulin action and as the first member of a previously unknown family of secreted resistin-like molecules.

He has given named lectures throughout the world, and has served as a member of the Board of Scientific Councilors of the NIDDK as well as many editorial and scientific advisory boards. He has been elected to the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Association of American Physicians, and received two NIH Merit Awards, the Van Meter Award of the American Thyroid Association, the BMS Freedom to Discover Award, the Richard Weitzman Award, Edwin B. Astwood Lecture Award and Gerald D. Aurbach Lecture Award from The Endocrine Society, and the Stanley Korsmeyer Award of the American Society for Clinical Investigation. In 2019, Mitch received Rolf Luft Award for his pioneering work in transcriptional regulation of metabolism. He is also an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the National Academy of Sciences.

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