JDRF Center of Excellence at the University of Michigan

This Center advances knowledge, translating it into better care and patient outcomes.
In partnership with scientists and clinicians at the Elizabeth Weiser Caswell Diabetes Institute at the University of Michigan, JDRF-funded researchers are conducting research to understand and modulate a person with T1D’s metabolic profile and beta cell functions to improve outcomes. The projects at the Center connect data from multiple disciplines via a common data portal to inform research across studies.

These world-class researchers will undertake four projects that:

  • Use metabotype to optimize beta cell function in beta cell replacement therapy
  • Employ artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce hypoglycemic events
  • Identify the metabotypes to reduce disease burden
  • Minimize the burden of mental health in T1D

Research Team Leaders

Project Teams

Project 1: Metabotype to optimize beta cell function

This project seeks to fully understand the beta cell maturation process with modulated metabolic environment.

Additional Members

  • Daniel Clough
  • Anne Lietzke
  • Jessica King
  • Gemma Pearson
  • Feiran Li
  • Jie Zhu

Project 2: Employing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to reduce hypoglycemic events

This project will leverage continuous glucose monitoring data and patient-specific metabolic data and will use reinforcement learning to create an improved AI algorithm for automated insulin delivery to remove human guesswork and provide more stable blood-glucose levels.

Additional Members

  • Feiran Li,
    Biomedical Engineering
  • Cynthia Plunkett,
    Metabolism, Endocrinology
    and Diabetes
  • Harry Rubin-Falcone,

Project 3: Identifying the metabotypes to reduce disease burden

This project aims to comprehensively define the metabolic profiles across multiple T1D cohorts for association analysis with a variety of organ complications, thus providing a data-driven path toward improved T1D patient care and reduced burden.

Additional Members

  • Heather Ascani, Nephrology
  • Jaeman Byun, Nephrology
  • Rachel Dull, Nephrology
  • Bradley Godfrey, Nephrology
  • John Hartman, Nephrology
  • Pradeep Kayampilly, Nephrology
  • Maria Larkina, Nephrology
  • Rebecca Steck, Nephrology
  • Rajasree Menon, Nephrology
  • Ashutosh Phadte, Ophthalmology
  • Rebecca Reamy, Nephrology
  • Nancy Roeser, Nephrology
  • Michael Rose, Nephrology
  • Yang Shan, Ophthalmology
  • Emily Tanner, Nephrology
  • Mark Tomilo, Nephrology
  • Chih-Hong Wang, Nephrology
  • Zachary Wright, Nephrology
  • Noel Wys, Nephrology
  • Lixia Zeng, Nephrology

Project 4: Minimizing the burden of mental health in T1D

Factors such as depression, anxiety, diabetes distress, and pain influence health outcomes and quality of life in people with T1D. This project uses two complementary approaches for looking at psychological and cognitive outcomes in patients with T1D, including a large national health care claims study, and an Ecological Momentary Assessment Study:

  • To examine a large healthcare claims database to gain a deeper understanding of the utilization, costs, and burden of mental health diagnoses and their determinants for individuals with T1D.
  • To examine the interplay between diabetes psychological domains (distress, anxiety, and depressive symptoms), neuropathic pain, and glycemic/metabolic outcomes using self-reported real-time psychological measures.

Additional Members

  • Nathaniel Putnam, Neurology
  • Evan Reynolds, Neurology

As Vice Chair of the JDRF International Research Committee, I’m thrilled that critical scientific questions are being investigated by a talented, collaborative group of scientists and clinicians in MY hometown. The answers to these questions have the power to change the lives of people living with type 1 diabetes profoundly.”

— Elizabeth Caswell, JDRF International Board of Directors

News & Blogs

  • The University of Michigan announced the establishment of the Elizabeth Weiser Caswell Diabetes Institute at Michigan Medicine in collaboration with other university schools and units.

    June 15, 2020

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Contact us to help us advance this critical work in curing T1D and improving lives.

Gillian Green
Vice President, Leadership Giving