Research

Emory University's Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Lipids faculty are heavily involved in basic and clinical research in a variety of areas.  Division residents and fellows are strongly encouraged to participate in ongoing basic and clinical research projects.

Active Endocrinology, Metabolism and Lipids clinical trials.

Current Research Projects

Osteoporosis, Bone biology and Vitamin D metabolism

The Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Lipids has a very strong group of researchers in basic and clinical/translational bone biology. The group is led by Dr. Roberto Pacifici who is an expert in post-menopausal osteoporosis and osteoimmunology.  Dr. Weitzmann has interests in T and B cell biology and HIV in bone pathophysiology. Dr. Beck and Tangpricha studies phosphate and vitamin D metabolism, respectively. Dr. Alvarez investigates the interaction between nutrition, diabetes and body composition. Dr. Nanes is an expert in TNF induced bone loss.

Physician Researchers

Diabetes, Gene Therapy, and Fuel Metabolism

The Emory Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Lipids has several ongoing patient-oriented clinical studies in the area of diabetes and metabolism.  A major area of interest involves studies to determine mechanisms underlying the metabolic decompensation in minority populations with a history of hyperglycemic crises.  The division of endocrinology serves as the coordinating center for several investigator-initiated research trials in inpatient diabetes care and in the management of elderly patients in long-term care facilities. 

In addition, members of the division at Grady Hospital and VA Medical Centers serve as principal investigators in several NIH and American diabetes Association multi-center trials in the area of diabetes and metabolism. Although most of the current research in diabetes and metabolism is patient oriented- and outcome- research, active research studies are also conducted in the area of inflammation, metabolomics, and insulin insulin gene therapy as a treatment for diabetes mellitus.  

Diabetes Physiology, Clinical Outcomes and Management

The clinical research program in diabetes and metabolism at Emory University has received considerable national and international attention for its effort in improving patient care.  More than 50 clinical trials have been conducted at Emory in the area of diabetes and metabolism during the past decade, ranging from studies of promising new drugs, management of patients with diabetes in minority populations, diabetes prevention, and in leading the field of inpatient management of hyperglycemia and diabetes in the hospital setting. The clinical research program supports an increasing number of clinical and research faculty staff in creating innovative educational and behavioral interventions aimed at improving the health outcomes of people with diabetes, scientists at Emory University.   

Diabetic Complications

Researchers at Emory are investigating the short- and long-term defects on cognition and structural brain changes in type 1 diabetes with recurrent ketoacidosis. We are also participating in a multicenter, randomized NIH-supported clinical trial will determine the role of allopurinol in the prevention of glomerular filtration rate (GFR) loss in type 1 diabetes and early diabetic nephropathy.

Diabetes Care in Older Adults

Researchers are conducting a randomized controlled study to determine best treatment regimen for elderly patients in the nursing home.  This trial will compare a DPP4 Inhibitor and basal insulin in long-term care residents with type 2 diabetes

Inpatient Management of Diabetes

The division if endocrinology at Emory has conducted several landmark clinical trials for the management of patients with hyperglycemia and diabetes in the hospital setting.  Currently, we serve as the coordinating center for three multi-center trials on the role of incretin-base therapy for the management of hospitalized patients with diabetes and after hospital discharge.  

Emory Clinical Translational Science Award and General Clinical Research Center. 

Emory University is the recipient of an NIH award aimed to support General Clinical Research Centers (GCRCs) located within Emory University Hospital and Grady Memorial Hospital, as well as educational, community and translational research programs at Emory University, Georgia Institute of Technology and Morehouse School of Medicine.

Physician Researchers

Nutritional Support

Faculty in Endocrinology at Emory are involved in nutritional support research such as:

• Redox and metabolomic responses to malnutrition, nutritional repletion, high-fat diets, and sulfur amino acid intake in animal and human models
• Mechanisms and nutrient/growth factor/redox regulation of intestinal cell growth, repair, and function in cell, animal and human models of intestinal failure.    

Physician Researchers

Atherosclerosis and Lipids

Faculty participate in large scale and smaller multi-site endocrinology clinical trials, investigator –initiated trials and cardiovascular outcomes trials.  The research group has worked together for over a decade in many major National Institutes of Health sponsored clinical trials including ALLHAT (Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial) and ACCORD (Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetics).  Currently, patients are participating in two large NIH trials:  SPRINT  (Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial) studying the effects of intensive versus standard blood pressure control and ASPREE (Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly) studying the effects of taking one aspirin a day on cardiovascular outcomes.  

Recently completed diabetes outcomes trials include TECOS (A Randomized Placebo Controlled Clinical Trial To Evaluate Cardiovascular Outcomes After Treatment with Sitagliptin in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Inadequate Glycemic Control), and NAVIGATOR (Nateglinide and Valsartan in Impaired Glucose Tolerance Outcomes Research).

Current investigator-initiated studies include HiCholA (Prevalence of High Cholesterol at the Atlanta VA Medical Center) studying the use of low-dose treatments in statin-intolerant patients and “Sleep Functional Outcomes” an analysis of the metabolic, glucose and lipid changes associated with sleep apnea.

Physician Researchers

Learn more about Dr. Sweeney's Lipid Metabolism Program

Pituitary

Adriana Ioachimescus's research focuses on pituitary tumors pathogenesis and outcomes, with the purpose of validation of prognostic markers and identification of novel therapies for pituitary tumors. 

At the Emory Pituitary Center, several specialists work together in both clinical and research endeavors, including endocrinology, neurosurgery, neuro-ophtalmology, neuropsychology, genetics, neuro-pathology and other.

Research activities include multicentric trials in patients with acromegaly and Cushing's disease, investigator-initiated projects and outcome research based on the Pituitary Center database.

Students and trainees have ample opportunities for research at the Emory Pituitary Center. Please email Dr. Ioachimescu for details.