Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute

The City of Hope has a long and impressive history of groundbreaking discoveries in the field of diabetes. It spans more than four decades of intense investigation since Rachmiel Levine, M.D., who discovered the role of insulin in glucose transport, launched diabetes research at City of Hope.
City of Hope's Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute is now headed by Arthur D. Riggs, Ph.D., another pioneer in the field renowned for his work on synthesizing the first man-made gene and the using synthetic genes to produce human insulin. This first practical source of human insulin has largely replaced porcine- or bovine-derived insulin and has become the standard of care for diabetes worldwide.
The institute, housed in the The Leslie & Susan Gonda (Goldschmied) Diabetes & Genetic Research Building, is comprised of one clinical and four research departments:
The Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute's primary goals include:
  • Understanding the genetic and molecular signaling mechanisms that lead to diabetes and its complications
  • Advancing islet cell transplantation and related treatments for type 1 diabetes by developing better methods to prevent rejection and cure autoimmunity and by developing improved sources of islets or insulin-producing beta cells
  • Developing drugs that precisely target the receptor molecules responsible for diabetes
  • Studying the relationship between diabetes and cancer in order to better understand cancer etiology (and interplay at the metabolic level between these complex diseases). Specifically, developing systems biology data analysis framework to quantify and model diabetes and cancer molecular pathways
  • Designing interventions that address molecular targets common to both diabetes and cancer, through targeted, personalized pharmacotherapy.