Recent Advances

Learn about exciting recent advances attributable to American Diabetes Association-funded researchers.

October 31, 2018
ADA-funded researcher designs community program to help all people tackle diabetes
Dr. Briana Mezuk teamed up with the YMCA to demonstrate the potential benefit of community-academic partnerships in improving outcomes related to diabetes

July 13, 2017
Pathway Scientist Identifies a Role for Brain's Immune Cells in Obesity
Association-funded researcher Joshua Thaler, MD, PhD, explores the idea that inflammation within the brain plays a significant role in the process of becoming obese.

July 13, 2017
Pathway Scientist Discovers Links between Sense of Smell and Body Weight
A new study shows that, at least in mice, the sense of smell is actually linked to how the body controls energy balance, influencing both obesity and insulin resistance.

November 21, 2016
Redefining Prediabetes to Prevent Complications
Association-funded researcher Ralph DeFronzo, MD, is examining how different medications might help prevent complications in people with prediabetes.

August 29, 2016
Diabetes in Pregnancy Differs from One Woman to Another
Diabetes that occurs during pregnancy can have different causes and can lead to different complications. Pathway Scientist Marie-France Hivert, MD, is investigating these differences in order to better predict which women are at highest risk for complications.

July 15, 2016
Can a Cup of Coffee Prevent Type 2
You probably know that coffee seems to help wake you up in the morning—and afternoon, and sometimes in the evening, too. But did you know it might help prevent diabetes?

May 10, 2016
New Insight into How Diabetes Leads to Blindness
New research is uncovering how diabetes changes the kinds of proteins that are made in the eye. These changes may lead to diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness. This information is allowing researchers to identify new targets for therapies that could delay or prevent the development of diabetic retinopathy.

March 1, 2016
The Connection Between Stress and Type 2
Researchers once thought genes alone might account for the dramatic differences in type 2 diabetes among rates among different populations. But there's increasing evidence that the environment we live in plays a bigger role than the genes we're born with.

February 12, 2016
Pathway Scientist Identifies Possible Trigger for Type 1 Diabetes
In order to prevent or reverse the development of type 1 diabetes, it is essential to understand why and how the immune system attacks the body’s own cells. Association-funded Researcher Thomas Delong, PhD, found a possible answer to these questions.

January 20, 2016
Learning Why Type 2 Quickly Hurts Kids' Kidneys
Between 2001 and 2009, pediatric type 2 cases climbed 30 percent. Pediatric diabetes may also be more severe. Association-funded Researcher Dr. Jane Kim is looking for ways to determine, long before the damage is done, which kids are most at risk for developing complications.

November 30, 2015
The Diabetes-Depression Connection
Diabetes and depression are closely linked. A lifelong condition like diabetes takes a toll on mental health. Depression, in turn, makes it harder to find the motivation to care for diabetes: getting exercise, eating right, and completing other basic tasks are difficult when you’re struggling just to get out of bed in the morning.

November 3, 2015
Very Low Effort Muscular Activity and Diabetes Risk
American Diabetes Association-funded researcher Dr. Marc T. Hamilton is studying how light physical activity, such as interrupting sedentary time with standing and walking, impacts glucose and fat metabolism in people who do not exercise.

October 1, 2015
Improving Pregnancy Outcomes in Obese Mothers Starts with Healthy Eggs
Obese women have increased rates of infertility, and once they are pregnant, they experience higher rates of miscarriage, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and other pregnancy complications. Association-funded researcher Dr. Kelle Moley is working to understand how obesity impacts reproduction, not only for women seeking to become pregnant now, but also for the health and wellness of future generations.

September 8, 2015
Older Adults Motivated to Make Lifestyle Changes
Are we ever too old to change? For people with diabetes, it's an especially important question. Doctors often assume older patients--some with a lifetime of unhealthy habits behind them--are unlikely to make significant changes. Association-supported researcher Dr. Dennis T. Villareal is finding that older adults seem more motivated to change their lifestyles.

August 7, 2015
Study Uncovers Potential New Ways to Prevent Beta Cell Death in Type 2 Diabetes
American Diabetes Association-funded researcher Dr. Andrew Miranker is studying how to prevent the beta cell damage that leads to type 2 diabetes. His latest work shows promise for developing new drugs that could preserve beta cell function in people at risk for diabetes.

July 31, 2015
Aerobic Exercise Improves Brain Function for People with Prediabetes
Having prediabetes or type 2 diabetes is the second biggest risk factor for developing Alzheimer's disease. American Diabetes Association-funded researcher Dr. Laura D. Baker has spent much of her career trying to understand how to reduce this risk.

June 29, 2015
Pathway to Stop Diabetes Scientist Generates Smart Insulin Patch
American Diabetes Association Pathway to Stop Diabetes Scientist Zhen Gu, PhD, recently published a paper describing the development of an innovative "smart insulin" patch that imitates the body's beta cells by both sensing blood glucose levels and releasing insulin.

March 19, 2015
Research to Identify and Correctly Treat Rare Forms of Diabetes
Some very rare forms of diabetes are caused by single gene mutations. They are called "monogenic" forms of diabetes and new research is opening the door to specific treatments for these patients.

November 7, 2014
A Close-Up View of Glucose Transport
Association-funded researcher Dr. Tamir Gonen recently published a critical study that provides the information needed to design new diabetes drugs. But it almost didn’t happen.

October 31, 2014
A Genetic Link to Type 2 Diabetes in Obesity
Although obesity is known to be a significant risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, most obese people never develop diabetes. An Association-funded researcher aims to understand what factors contribute to diabetes risk in the setting of obesity.

September 25, 2014
Reducing Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Youth with Type 1 Diabetes
While insulin resistance is known to contribute to cardiovascular disease in type 2 diabetes, its role in type 1 diabetes has been less clear. Association-funded researcher Dr. Kristen Nadeau aims to understand how to reduce cardiovascular complications in type 1 diabetes.

August 12, 2014
Progress in Artificial Pancreas Development: Preventing and Treating Low Blood Glucose
An important limitation to development of an artificial pancreas is the danger of low blood glucose caused by insulin infusion. A recent study links automated glucagon delivery-to combat low blood glucose-to automated insulin delivery to overcome this issue and bring artificial pancreas technology closer to reality.

July 15, 2014
Diet During Pregnancy Affects Offspring Later in Life
A number of studies connects conditions in the womb to the health of the offspring. A recent study shows that a high-fat diet during pregnancy and lactation makes offspring suffer increased negative effects of high-fat diet as adults. Interestingly, these effects are not linked to inherited genes.

July 1, 2014
Testing Vitamin D for Heart Health in Type 2 Diabetes
Produced in the body in response to sunlight, vitamin D is crucial for everything from strong bones to heart health. Modern life has made vitamin D deficiency more common. Type 2 diabetes also makes it harder for the body to produce vitamin D. Association-funded researcher Dr. Carlos Bernal-Mizrachi is conducting an experiment to see if correcting vitamin D deficiency can slow or halt the progression of cardiovascular disease.

June 30, 2014
Type 2 Diabetes Gene Acts through Neighboring Pancreas Cells
Beta cells in the pancreas are known to secrete insulin to regulate blood glucose. A recent study shows that one gene linked to type 2 diabetes actually works in the delta cell, a neighboring cell type within the pancreas, which helps “remotely” control insulin and glucagon production in beta and alpha cells, respectively.

June 1, 2014
Bone and Joint Health in Type 1 Diabetes
Bones seem like the one feature of our bodies that doesn't move or change. But unlikely as it may seem, the 206 bones in your body are actually a lifelong work in progress: Every seven years, give or take, you get a new skeleton. Association-funded researcher Dr. Shannon Wallet is working to find out why diabetes people with diabetes have much more bone breakdown than normal.

May 30, 2014
Uncovering a New Key to Increased Heart Disease Risk in Diabetes
People with diabetes have double the risk of heart attack and stroke. A recent series of studies reveals how insulin resistance leads the walls of arteries to become thicker and increases stroke risk, as well as how an existing diabetes medication works to counteract this risk.

February 28, 2014
The Obesity Paradox - Does Excess Weight Improve Survival?
How is body weight linked to death rates among people with type 2 diabetes? Recent studies have surprisingly suggested longer life for overweight or obese people with type 2 diabetes. However, a new study provides a more conclusive answer to this puzzling question.

January 31, 2014
Mother's Diet Affects Brain Development and Metabolism in Offspring
New evidence suggests that the environment in the womb has long lasting effects on the offspring. One recent study shows how a mother’s diet during pregnancy affects risk for obesity and diabetes in offspring through changes in brain development.

See previous articles.

  • Last Reviewed: June 30, 2015
  • Last Edited: October 30, 2018