About the Center

Current type 1 diabetes (T1D) treatment strategies assume that blood sugar is the sole driver of short- and long-term complications, like low or high blood-sugar levels; eye, kidney, heart, and nerve diseases; and brain impairment and psychosocial stress. The University of Michigan team, however, has shown that metabolism may play a role.

In partnership with scientists and clinicians at the Elizabeth Weiser Caswell Diabetes Institute at the University of Michigan, the Breakthrough T1D Center of Excellence will undertake a comprehensive definition of T1D metabolism to prevent or treat complications arising from the disease. This Center of Excellence will advance scientific knowledge, translating it into better care and health outcomes for people with T1D.

These world-class researchers will undertake four projects:
  • Identify predictive markers and therapeutic targets for T1D complications
  • Discover the relationship between metabolic profiles, brain function, and psychosocial stress, to minimize the burden of mental health complications in T1D
  • Determine the optimal metabolic environment for beta cell function in people who receive replacement therapy
  • Develop patient-specific profiles and advanced algorithms to guide tailored artificial pancreas technology to improve time-in-range and reduce low blood-sugar events 

Research team leaders

Breakthrough T1D CEO Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D.
Aaron J. Kowalski, Ph.D.
Breakthrough T1D
Sanjoy Dutta, Ph.D.
Breakthrough T1D
Thomas Gardner, M.D., M.S.
University of Michigan
Matthias Kretzler, M.D.
University of Michigan
Joyce Lee, M.D., MPH
University of Michigan
Scott Soleimanpour, M.D.
University of Michigan
Subramaniam Pennathur, M.D.
University of Michigan
Rodica Pop-Busui, M.D., Ph.D.
University of Michigan
Lonnie Shea, Ph.D.
University of Michigan

Team members

Farsad Afshinnia, M.D., M.S.
Dana Albright, Ph.D.
Lynn Ang, M.B.B.S.
Brian Callaghan, M.D.
Eva L. Feldman, M.D., Ph.D.
Patrice Fort, Ph.D.
Jennifer Harder, M.D.
Anna Mathew, M.B.B.S.
Kara Mizokami-Stout, M.D.
Jason Spence, Ph.D.
Jenna Wiens, Ph.D.
Thomas Wubben, M.D., Ph.D.
Additional Team Members
  • Heather Ascani
  • Rachel Dull
  • John Hartman
  • Maria Larkina 
  • Ashutosh Phadte, Ph.D.
  • Rebecca Reamy 
  • Nancy Roeser
  • Yang Shan, M.D., M.S.
  • Emily Tanner 
  • Chih-Hong Wang, Ph.D.
  • Noel Wys 
  • Jaeman Byun
  • Bradley Godfrey, Ph.D.
  • Pradeep Kayampilly, Ph.D
  • Rajasree Menon, Ph.D.
  • Nathaniel Putnam 
  • Evan Reynolds, Ph.D. 
  • Michael Rose 
  • Rebecca Steck 
  • Mark Tomilo 
  • Zachary Wright 
  • Lixia Zeng, Ph.D.