Could Translational Research Approach Lead to Kidney Disease Treatment?

Dr. Doria (left) and Dr. Krolewski (right)

The complexities of diabetes can’t be fully understood in a lab or in a clinic alone. Sometimes, information coming from the lab informs clinical researchers about what they should study in people with diabetes. Other times, trends noticed in patient visits can lead to an important study at the bench.

The back-and-forth, cross-disciplinary nature of diabetes research and medical research in general is known as translational research.

“It is a reciprocal journey from initial observation in lab or clinic to understanding the relevance of the finding to patients, practice and population health,” said Allison Goldfine, M.D., Head of the Section on Clinical, Behavioral and Outcomes Research.

Joslin Diabetes Center is dedicated to translational research; so much so that Joslin will soon open the doors to the newly constructed Translational Research Center for the Cure of Diabetes. This center will improve communication and encourage collaboration between basic science researchers and clinical researchers.

But Joslin hasn’t been waiting for the Translational Center’s unveiling to do this type of important work. Translational research has been part of Joslin’s approach to understanding more about diabetes for years.

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Confused About Saturated Fat? You’re Not Alone.

Is saturated fat bad, or isn't it? A new study brings up the question once more.

A study published earlier this month in the Annals of Internal Medicine reopened the question of whether or not saturated fat should be part of a healthy diet. It isn’t only the public whose head is spinning over this latest fat controversy; it’s a good portion of the scientific community.

Just last November the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology came out with new guidelines that recommend reducing saturated fat to no more than 5 to 6 percent of total calories.

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MIT and Joslin Team Up to Hack Diabetes Problems

On March 14, doctors, designers, engineers and more gathered at MIT for a weekend of hacking on the tough problems in medicine.

Joslin Diabetes Center provided guidance for the diabetes track of the weekend, and John Brooks, President and CEO of Joslin, gave a keynote address to kick off the event on Friday night.

The event was a joint production of MIT H@cking Medicine and the Kauffman Foundation.

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Joslin Communications Internship Opportunity

Joslin Diabetes Center Communications Department is looking for a part-time intern interested in multimedia communications. The intern would assist in developing content for the Joslin website, blog and social media covering lifestyle management, Joslin events, and scientific and clinical advancements. Depending on interest, the intern would also have the opportunity to learn about and take part in video production.

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Running Across the U.S., Spreading Diabetes Awareness

Doug Masiuk on his run across the United States.

This guest post is written by Doug Masiuk, who has type 1 diabetes. Doug ran across the United States and speaking about diabetes along the way.

On May 20th my feet were in the Pacific Ocean.  This was me taking a first step.  One connected to millions of others.  A person with diabetes.  I was trying to become the first person with type 1 to run across the United States, over 3,400 miles from the Pacific to the Atlantic, San Francisco to New York.  Two hundred and forty elite runners have run across the United States since the Civil War. In 2012 a person with type 1 was trying to be added to this list.

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See Inside Pediatrics at Joslin Diabetes Center!

Come on a tour of the Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Programs with Child Life Specialists Micaela Francis, M.S., C.C.L.S., and Jennifer Griffin, M.S., C.C.L.S., and hear about what makes Joslin Pediatrics unique from Lori Laffel, M.D., M.P.H., Chief of the Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Section.

Find out more by visiting Joslin Pediatrics online at

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Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right with Joslin’s Nutrition Staff

March is National Nutrition Month and is a great time to focus on health and wellbeing. So what better time to remind yourself that eating healthy, nutritious foods can be done in a delicious way?

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, chose the theme of “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” to celebrate the month this year. Here at Joslin Diabetes Center, Nora Saul, M.S, R.D., L.D.N., C.D.E, and the nutrition department staff are capitalizing on the theme of “taste” through several events to educate patients on eating deliciously right.

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How Gastric Surgeries Actually Work

Allison Goldfine, M.D., studies the effectiveness of bariatric surgery for weight loss and type 2 diabetes treatment.

A lot of people think that gastric surgeries work by making you eat less. True — but that’s only part of the story.

With about 35 percent of adult Americans considered obese, many people are looking for long-term fixes with rapid results. Approximately 140,000 people in the United States get bariatric surgery each year. These weight-loss surgeries are accompanied by significant health improvements, including a reduction in cholesterol levels and blood glucose numbers. In fact, for people who are obese with type 2 diabetes, bariatric surgery is becoming a go-to for treatment.

“There are multiple mechanisms by which people lose weight from these surgeries,” said Allison Goldfine, M.D., head of the section on Clinical, Behavioral and Outcomes Research at Joslin Diabetes Center. “Breaking apart the different mechanisms and understanding the combinations that are important are active areas of investigation for many scientists around the world.“

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Join Joslin Pediatrics for Fun Year-round!

Every year, Joslin Pediatrics hosts events designed to let families with children who have diabetes connect with one another and with the pediatrics staff. Micaela Francis, M.S., C.C.L.S., and Jennifer Griffin, M.S., C.C.L.S., Child Life Specialists, talk about the Teddy Bear Clinics, tours of Fenway Park, an evening of Summer Magic, and the Halloween party.

Find out more by visiting Joslin Pediatrics online at

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The Impact of Type 2 Diabetes Medications on Weight

Dr. Osama Hamdy is the author of The Diabetes Breakthrough and the Director of the Why WAIT program at Joslin.

This post is written by Osama Hamdy, M.D.,Medical Director, Obesity Clinical Program, Director of Inpatient Diabetes Management at Joslin Diabetes Center, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

In my last blog post, I discussed how targeting weight loss can be an effective step in managing diabetes. And, I mentioned, it is often a good idea to consider whether your diabetes medications can actually cause you to gain weight.

Medications that cause weight-gain:

  • Medications like glyburide and glipizide are effective in lowering blood glucose but they generally cause weight gain. If you must take them, using the extended-release versions (glipizide XL or glimepiride) is preferable.
  • Although Actos (pioglitzone) and Avandia (rosiglitazone) increase insulin action, they generally cause significant weight gain.
  • Insulin is the strongest diabetes medication.  Its use, in general also causes significant weight gain. In the Why WAIT program, we used certain types of insulin and novel techniques to minimize the impact of insulin on body weight. This method is described in details in “The Diabetes Breakthrough.”

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