Investigators at the Cincinnati Diabetes and Obesity Center conduct basic and clinical research designed to improve the way diabetes is treated in the future. From discovery of the underlying biological basis for diabetes and related diseases, to the development of new treatments, to innovative clinical disease management programs, the latest and most meaningful breakthroughs in the field are emerging from Cincinnati.

Laboratory Research

Basic or “bench” research is done in a laboratory setting with cells, tissue and pre-clinical models. Once research has been proven through rigorous testing in these settings, it can move into clinical testing.

The core of our basic science research takes place at the UC Metabolic Diseases Institute with investigators from UC’s internal medicine department, endocrinology division. Additional research programs are based in the departments of cancer and cell biology, pediatrics and psychiatry. Pediatric researchers conduct their studies at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

Investigators have expertise in:

  • Cell signaling
  • Central nervous system control of metabolism
  • Central nervous system control of energy expenditure
  • Nutrient sensing
  • Nutrition and behavior
  • Hormonal regulation of body weight
  • Diet-gene interactions
  • Mechanisms of bariatric surgery
  • Type 1 diabetes/pancreatic islet cell development

Clinical Research & Clinical Trials

Clinical research trials are studies involving human subjects. Before a drug or treatment protocol is tested widely, it goes through years of testing in cells, tissue culture and pre-clinical animal models. The process is closely regulated by the government and monitored by institution’s Institutional Review Board (IRB).

There are numerous types of clinical trials, each with a different purpose: prevention, screening, diagnostics or treatment.

Patients who participate in clinical trials are followed for an extended period of time (sometimes over their lifetime) after the trial is closed.