The MGH Diabetes Clinical Research Center, currently in its 20th year, focuses on the development and evaluation of innovative therapies for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and their complications.
The Diabetes Clinical Research Center and its staff have played a leadership role in the conduct of several of the most important clinical trials in diabetes of the past two decades.
Some of these studies are:
- the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) and its ongoing followup study
- the Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC) study, which demonstrated the primacy of intensive metabolic control in preventing the development of complications in Type 1 diabetes
- the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) which established the means of preventing Type 2 diabetes
- the LookAHEAD study which is examining the means of preventing heart disease in Type 2 diabetes
- the Immune Tolerance Network Study which is investigating islet transplantation as a treatment of Type 1 diabetes.
In the aggregate, these trials and other Diabetes Center studies are studying more than 1000 subjects at the Mass General.
Other current Center studies are investigating:
- the treatment of Type 2 diabetes in adolescents
- new techniques for islet transplantation
- the immune basis of Type 1 diabetes, cardiovascular disease prevention
- the genetics of Type 2 diabetes
- means of optimizing the care of Type 2 diabetes by primary care practitioners.
Epidemiologic studies in collaboration with the Framingham Heart Study, Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, and Nurses and Physicians Health Studies explore the risk factors of diabetes and its complications and in particular the relationship between glycemia and heart disease.
The current annual budget (>90% from NIH) is approximately $2.5 million per year.
The major accomplishments of the Diabetes Center have been the following:
- establishment of hemoglobin A1c as a seminal research and clinical assay
- development of intensive treatment regimens for Type 1 diabetes
- introduction of GLP 1, 7-37 as a potential new therapy for Type 2 diabetes
- delineation of the relationship between subdiabetic levels of hyperglycemia and cardiovascular disease
- conduct and completion of the DCCT and DPP studies, which established the means to prevent complications of diabetes and to prevent Type 2 diabetes, respectively.
The DCCT and DPP have been hailed as the most important studies in diabetes since the discovery of insulin.