The Division of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetes offers a vibrant and growing research environment. Faculty and fellow research projects include both basic science and clinically-oriented projects aimed at understanding and treating endocrine disease. Particular areas of interest include the pathogenesis of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, the regulation of glucose metabolism, the regulation of bone growth and development, and the integrated response to hypoglycemia. These research projects receive funding from the NIH as well as from pharmaceutical sponsors.
Please see below to learn more about our investigators and their research efforts.
Nathan Bingham, MD, PhD
Diets rich in fat content have been shown to induce a state of chronic, low-grade inflammation within the hypothalamus, a brain region critical in the regulation of appetite and body weight. This inflammation has been shown to disrupt the normal functions of the hypothalamus, altering the hormonal and neuronal signals that regulate energy balance and contributing to continued weight gain. The Bingham lab uses mouse models of obesity to evaluate the mechanisms leading to the development of high-fat diet-induced hypothalamic inflammation. In addition, we use mouse models of bariatric surgery to evaluate the effects that this common obesity treatment has on hypothalamic inflammation. We hope that these tools will lead to a better understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that contribute to the development of hypothalamic inflammation and lead to novel treatments for obesity.
Karishma Datye, MD, MSCI
Dr. Datye studies adherence to therapy in adolescents with type 1 diabetes and is interested in understanding the barriers to care that adolescents face. Next steps include developing interventions to improve adherence to therapy and ultimately glycemic control in this population. She is also interested in quality improvement work in both endocrinology and diabetes.
Justin Gregory, MD
Dr. Gregory's type 1 diabetes research seeks to mechanistically define the deleterious metabolic and cardiovascular effects of iatrogenic hyperinsulinemia caused by peripheral insulin delivery. He is working to translate these findings into therapeutic strategies that will restore an appropriate balance of insulin between the liver and insulin-sensitive peripheral tissues, such as hepatopreferential and oral insulin analogs and intraperitoneal insulin delivery. Ultimately, he aims to quantify the cardiovascular benefits gained when the appropriate insulin balance between hepatic and peripheral tissues is restored. Dr. Gregory's research utilizes the conscious, catheterized canine model to manipulate metabolic and hormonal conditions in vivo. He also conducts cardiometabolic research in humans in the Clinical Research Center at Vanderbilt.
Sarah Jaser, PhD
Dr. Jaser studies risk and protective factors in children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. She has demonstrated the effects of adolescent coping, maternal adjustment, and parenting on adolescents’ glycemic control and quality of life. She is currently developing and testing interventions to improve outcomes in youth with diabetes and their families.
Daniel Moore, MD, PhD
Dr. Moore's research seeks to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern immune tolerance and to prevent and reverse Type 1 Diabetes. His research has contributed to our understanding of the role played by B lymphocytes in the development of autoimmune disease and transplant rejection and has broadly defined important aspects of the physiology of diabetes.
Bill Russell, MD
Dr. Russell studies ways to predict and to prevent type 1 diabetes (T1D). He is the Principal Investigator at Vanderbilt for the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet consortium, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health to prevent type 1 diabetes in people at risk and to preserve insulin secretion in those who have T1D. He leads the international abatacept trial (TN18) to determine an immune system modulating drug (CTLA4-Ig) can prevent the development of T1D in people at high risk to progress to full-blown T1D.
Ashley Shoemaker, MD, MSCI
Dr. Shoemaker’s research focuses on early-onset obesity. Obesity remains a global health threat with many underlying causes including genetic susceptibility and environmental factors. By identifying the precise underlying different forms of syndromic obesity, Dr. Shoemaker is working to develop weight loss interventions that target the specific area of energy imbalance.
Jill Simmons, MD
Dr. Simmons’ clinical and research interests include pediatric metabolic bone diseases, such as hypophosphatasia, osteogenesis imperfecta, osteoporosis, and rickets. She is a local principal investigator in the Type 1 Diabetes Exchange, a multi-institutional collaboration to improve the lives and care of patients with type 1 diabetes.