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 headed by Arthur D. Riggs, Ph.D., another pioneer in the field renowned for his work on synthesizing the first man-made gene and 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 Leslie & Susan Gonda (Goldschmied) Diabetes & Genetic Research Building, is comprised of the following departments and programs:


The Diabetes & Metabolism Research Institute's primary goals include:
  • Discovering new biomarkers to identify those at risk for developing diabetes and its complications
  • Developing drugs that precisely target the receptor molecules responsible for diabetes
  • Developing new immune therapies to rebalance the immune system and halt or reverse type 1 diabetes
  • Reviving and/or replacing the cells that make insulin
  • Studying the relationships between diabetes and cancer