The BCM Diabetes Research Center supports a rapidly expanding biomedical research base. Since the center's establishment in 2008, the research base has grown as a result of the arrival of new investigators from other schools and the recruitment of faculty within BCM from other fields into diabetes research.
The growth is catalyzed by the synergism created by the scientific cores, and the Pilot and Feasibility Program and enrichment programs. From 2008 to 2012, the base has grown from 57 to 92 investigators.
There are four major focus areas among the DRC investigators:
- Human research in diabetes, metabolism, and nutrition
- Pathobiology and pathophysiology of diabetes and its complications
- Lipid, glucose, and energy homeostasis at the molecular level
- Molecular Endocrinology: nuclear receptors and co-regulators.
The details of the research projects can be found in the websites of individual DRC investigators. Highlights on the four areas are briefly summarized below:
- BCM has very strong human research programs in diabetes and related areas, including insulin resistance, lipotoxicity and inflammatory vascular disease; intermediate metabolism, lipoproteins and atherosclerosis; obesity; diabetic complications; clinical decision making and T2=T3 translational research and epidemiology of metabolic diseases.
- In the area of pathobiology and pathophysiology of diabetes and its complications are major strengths in pregnancy and childhood diabetes; pancreatic isle development and regulation; islet immunology; and adipose pathophysiology and lipid metabolism; in the complications area, DERC investigators cover all the major microvascular complications as well as cardiovascular complications; hypothalamic function; and genetic and epidemiological discoveries.
- BCM houses leading research groups who are internationally known nutrient and energy homeostasis at the molecular level, covering the role of nuclear and membrane receptors and coregulators, and neural control of metabolism.
- Molecular endocrinology has a long tradition at BCM, including leading investigators in areas of control and signal transduction pathways as they relate to diabetes-related endocrinology and metabolism.