Basic Research

Investigators that focus on basic research related to diabetes include over 200 faculty members across many schools and departments at the University of Michigan. Over 30 of these researchers focus entirely on diabetes and related diseases. These faculty members have specific strength in type 1 diabetes/beta cell biology, type 2 diabetes/obesity, and the complications of diabetes. Reflecting these strengths, the University of Michigan has many NIH-funded centers that support and enhance diabetes-related research (see below). The Elizabeth Weiser Caswell Diabetes Institute coordinates among these, identifying needs and eliminating redundancies to ensure the appropriate support of basic diabetes research at the University of Michigan.

Michigan Diabetes Research Center

The Michigan Diabetes Research Center (MDRC) is a multidisciplinary unit of the University of Michigan funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH). The goal of the MDRC is to promote collaborative, multidisciplinary research among member investigators studying diabetes, its complications and related disorders.

Michigan Nutrition Obesity Research Center (MNORC)

The Michigan Nutrition Obesity Research Center (MNORC) is funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIH) and aims to identify improved methods for the prevention and treatment of obesity.

Michigan Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center (MMPC)

The Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center (MMPC) advances medical and biological research by providing researchers with standardized, high quality metabolic and physiologic phenotyping services for mouse models of diabetes, diabetic complications, obesity and related metabolic diseases and conditions.

George M. O'Brien Kidney Translational Core Center

The George M. O'Brien Michigan Kidney Translational Core Center assists investigators and clinicians worldwide in kidney disease research, with a major focus on diabetic kidney disease. Core services are available to promote their basic, translational and clinical kidney disease research.

Vision Research Core

The Vision Research Core provides Kellogg Eye Center's vision researchers with the necessary resources to pursue cutting-edge research, focusing on diabetic eye disease. The Core acts as a central conduit for the exchange of information within the community of scientists and serves to promote collaboration and a multidisciplinary approach to vision research.


The academic (departmental and divisional) homes of researchers focused on basic diabetes research include:

Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes (MEND)

The Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes (MEND) offers patients comprehensive inpatient and outpatient services and educational programs for endocrine and metabolic disorders including diabetes and podiatry. MEND provides nationally renowned education and training for physicians and faculty and conducts innovative research.

Pediatric Endocrinology

The Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism has a long-standing tradition of excellence in patient care and research in pediatric endocrinology, diabetes and metabolism, resident and fellow education and basic and clinical research training.

Molecular and Integrative Physiology

The Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology is home to nationally-recognized research programs in basic and translational physiology research with a long tradition of research support from the federal government, numerous foundations, and industry.


The University of Michigan Department of Pharmacology has assembled a diverse group of outstanding scientists who work together to advance the forefronts of new knowledge to develop novel therapeutic approaches for treatment of disease.


The Division of Nephrology is nationally and internationally recognized for its excellent clinical care and its rich and diverse education and research programs including those of diabetic kidney disease.

Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

The Department of Ophthalmology scientists have developed a strong vision research program that explores the genetic, molecular, and biochemical underpinnings of sight. Their innovative scientific perspectives place the University of Michigan Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in a leadership position for developing new treatments and therapies for diabetic eye disease.


The Department of Neurology provides outstanding research and care for patients with diseases of the nervous system including diabetic neuropathy, advancing understanding and treatments through research and education of the next generation of physicians and scientists in the field.