Diabetes and Endocrinology

Research Programs

There are extensive opportunities for participation in both basic and clinical research programs in the division of endocrinology and our diabetes and endocrinology outpatient service. The following represents a brief summary of active research programs listed by investigator:

  • Geetha Gopalakrishnan, MD coordinates the clinical trials program for the Division of Endocrinology. Her research has focused on women's health topics such as osteoporosis. She has directed studies on the effect of new pharmacological agents in the management of bone loss related to postmenopausal osteoporosis, hyperparathyroidism and cancer.  She has collaborated with other investigators to determine the bone and body composition of certain disease states like HIV infection, breast cancer and anorexia. More recently, her research has broadened to include new treatments for diabetes and thyroid disease in pregnancy.
    More about Dr. Gopalakrishnan
  •  Eduardo Nillni, PhD is the recipient of the Lifespan 2001 Bruce Selya Award for Research Excellence. His research has delved into the pathogenesis of obesity, the integrated physiology of the adiposite hormone leptin, other neuropeptide hormones, and nutrient sensors actions in controlling food intake and their dysfunction in the obese state.  He is a recognized authority in the field for his early seminal work on the role of the prohormone convertases and leptin on the post-translational processing of key regulatory peptides controlling food intake.
    More about Dr. Nillni
  • Hilary Whitlatch, MD is conducting clinical research studies on biomarkers that correlate with risk of diabetes complications and on factors that influence the development of diabetic neuropathy.
  • Haiyan Xu, MD, PhD is investigating the mechanisms of obesity-related insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Her work is focused on the correlation of adipose inflammation and insulin resistance in obesity, novel factors in the regulation of adipose energy metabolism, and the mechanisms controlling hepatic gluconeogenesis. Dr. Xu's current projects include studies on the triggering factors responsible for obesity-induced adipose macrophage infiltration, the roles of novel AMPK related kinases in adipocyte biology, and the effects of two phosphatases on insulin signaling in liver and adipose tissue. Dr. Xu was the recipient of the Lifespan 2010 Bruce Selya Award for Research Excellence.
    More about Dr. Xu

See individual staff listings for further details on specific research project areas. Inquiries about opportunities for undergraduate research (including honors thesis research and summer research), PhD thesis research as part of established Brown University graduate programs, and postdoctoral research training should be directed to individual faculty members.