Research Overview

Division Chief, Derek LeRoith, MD, PhD, former head of the Diabetes Branch at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, has been spearheading significant growth in diabetes research since joining Mount Sinai in 2005. Basic research on islet cell development, appetite and fat cell physiology as well as insulin action are among the major targets for expansion.

Ongoing basic research includes using a mouse model of type 2 diabetes to study the effect of diabetes on bone disease. This same model is also being used to study the increased risk of cancer in diabetes. A model prone to cardiovascular disease is being utilized to study the increased risk of cardiovascular disease in diabetes. The division recently created The Diabetes Trial Unit to increase clinical studies to identify the best treatment options for patients today and in the future.

The faculty’s ongoing basic research has focused on specific mechanisms of the physiology and pathophysiology of endocrine glands and metabolic disorders. The division’s National Institutes of Health Training Grant in Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology is currently funded for its 16-20 years for six positions, making the division a leader in training doctoral students and postdoctoral fellows in this field.

Mount Sinai endocrinologists were the first to publish the successful isolation of a mouse antibody which stimulates the thyroid glad to secrete excessive amounts of thyroid hormone. Such antibodies are the cause of Graves’ disease.

Studies of the prostate and bone are also major foci of divisional research. In a recent study investigators demonstrated that are inherent differences between the cells of the in the human prostate in the peripheral vs. the transition zone. These differences may explain why cells in the peripheral zone are much more likely to become cancerous. A study published in Cell in 2006 demonstrated that rising levels of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) contribute to osteoporosis by stimulating osteoclasts to destroy bone tissue.

Ongoing clinical research in the division includes studies of relationship between male hypogonadism and obesity, the effect of cortisone on appetite and obesity, diabetes, inpatient glycemic control, inhaled insulin, endothelial function, erectile dysfunction.

Grants

  • TSH and Bone Remodeling
    Primary Investigator: Etsuko Abe
    FUNDING AGENCY: NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF ARTHRITIS. & MUSCULOSKELETAL & SKIN DISEASES
    Project Period: 27-Apr-04 through 31-Mar-09
  • Calcium in the Regulation of Osteoclast Formation
    Primary Investigator: Mone Zaidi
    NATIONAL INSTITUTE ON AGING
    Project Period: 01-Aug-03 through 30-Jun-08
  • TSHR and Thyrocyte Development
    Primary Investigator: Reigh-Yi Lin
    FUNDING AGENCY: NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DIABETES, DIGESTIVE AND KIDNEY DISEASES
    Project Period: 01-Mar-05 through 31-Jan-10
  • Characterization/Monoclonal Thyroid Stimulating Antibodies
    Primary Investigator: Terry Davies
    FUNDING AGENCY: NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DIABETES, DIGESTIVE AND KIDNEY DISEASES
    Project Period: 01-Apr-06 through 28-Feb-11
  • Effects of COX-2 & IL-6/Prostate Cancer Bone Metastases
    Primary Investigator: Alice Levine
    FUNDING AGENCY: DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, UNITED STATES ARMY
    Project Period: 03-Jan-05 through 02-Jan-08
  • Interdiscipl Prog in Cellular & Molecular Endocrinology
    Primary Investigator: Terry Davies
    FUNDING AGENCY: NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DIABETES, DIGESTIVE AND KIDNEY DISEASES
    Project Period: 01-Dec-89 through 31-Aug-10
  • Susceptibility Genes in Autoimmune Thyroid Disease
    Primary Investigator: Terry Davies
    FUNDING AGENCY: NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DIABETES, DIGESTIVE AND KIDNEY DISEASES
    Project Period: 01-Aug-97 through 30-Jun-07
  • CD38/ADP-Ribosyl Cyclase in Osteoclast Regulation
    Primary Investigator: Mone Zaidi
    FUNDING AGENCY: NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF DIABETES, DIGESTIVE AND KIDNEY DISEASES
    Project Period: 15-Jan-97 through 31-May-08