City of Hope’s Department of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases Research, housed in the Leslie & Susan Gonda (Goldschmied) Diabetes & Genetic Research Center. The Department encompasses the laboratory efforts of two Divisions, the Division of Developmental & Translational Diabetes and Endocrine Research Directed by Dr. Fouad Kandeel, and the Division of Molecular Diabetes Research, Directed by Dr. Rama Natarajan. City of Hope has a long and impressive history of groundbreaking discoveries in the field of diabetes, spanning over four decades of intense investigation. Arthur Riggs, Ph.D., chair of the Department and director emeritus of Beckman Research Institute, is a pioneer in diabetes research. He is recognized for his work that provided the first, practical source of human insulin, which largely replaced animal-derived (porcine or bovine) insulin and became the standard of care for diabetes worldwide. The Division directed by Dr. Kandeel is renowned for its islet cell transplantation program, which offers an increasingly viable treatment option for Type 1 diabetes. The Division directed by Dr. Natarajan is at the forefront of research on the complications of diabetes and was the first to study epigenetic changes in diabetes.
- Understanding the genetic and molecular signaling mechanisms that lead to diabetes and its complications
- Advancing islet cell transplantation and related treatments for type 1 diabetes by developing (1) improved methods to prevent rejection and cure autoimmunity, and (2) improved sources of islets or insulin-producing beta cells
- Developing drugs that precisely target receptor molecules responsible for diabetes, and in so doing, preventing the development of associated diseases such as cancer, heart disease and stroke
- Probing the relationship between diabetes and cancer in order to better understand cancer etiology and to develop effective therapeutic
interventions that address molecular targets common to both diseases
A generous gift from an anonymous donor has created an endowment for City of Hope Diabetes Center, providing even greater resources to continue its vital research endeavors.