Our Current Initiatives


  • Opening a multidisciplinary diabetes clinic to care for COVID-19 patients and monitor their long-term recovery
  • Understanding why diabetes patients are at a greater risk of COVID-19 complications
  • Creating a protocol to identify which diabetes patients are at highest risk
  • Developing new treatments for diabetic patients suffering from high blood sugar surges caused by COVID-19
  • Identifying long-term and permanent damage to brain, heart, and kidney in COVID-19 survivors


  • Conducting a clinical study to determine if surgical weight loss and/or exercise can prevent nerve damage and improve thinking
  • Studying why children and teenagers with obesity, prediabetes, and diabetes develop nerve damage
  • Identifying risk factors for brain and nerve damage in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes
  • NETWORK AFFILIATES: Dr. Troels Jensen (Aarhus University, Denmark), Dr. Robert Nelson (National Institutes of Health), Dr. Amanda Peltier (Vanderbilt University)

Alzheimer's Disease

  • Designing and launching the “first in human” clinical trial using stem cells to treat Alzheimer’s disease
  • Determining how diabetes and obesity can lead to Alzheimer’s disease
  • Exploring what diets promote a healthy brain
  • Investigating how a healthy immune system contributes to a healthy brain
  • Identifying environmental pollution exposures that may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease
  • NETWORK AFFILIATES: Dr. David Bennett (Oxford Unversity, England), Dr. Catrina Robinson (Medical University of South Carolina), Dr. Velandai Srikanth (Monash University, Australia), Dr. Vijay Viswanathan (Chennai, India)

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

  • Facilitating patient participation in three national drug trials at the Pranger ALS Clinic
  • Designing a clinical trial to test if immunosuppressant drugs can slow
  • ALS progression
  • Understanding why Michigan has the highest ALS prevalence in the U.S.A. by examining the interaction of genetics and chemical exposures in ALS patients
  • Advocating for a cleaner environment by raising awareness of how pollution (e.g., legacy pesticides, fIame retardants, air pollution) contributes to ALS
  • NETWORK AFFILIATES: Dr. Tamir Ben-Hur and Dr. Benjamin Reubinoff (Hadassah-Hebrew University, Israel), Dr. Junguk Hur (University of North Dakota), Dr. Daniel Newman (Henry Ford Hospital)