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.
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.
Sara Duffus, MD
Dr. Duffus’s research focuses on improving the clinical care of pediatric patients with thyroid cancer. Additionally, she investigates strategies for improving glycemia in adolescents and young adults with type 1 diabetes mellitus, including hybrid closed loop insulin pump systems and low carbohydrate diets. She also utilizes quality improvement methods to improve comorbidity screening for patients with type 1 and type 2 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.
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.