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A History of Innovation, a Vision of a Cure

ABOUT US

Diabetes Center at UCSF

Whether you are newly diagnosed and seeking basic information about diabetes and how to manage it, want to make an appointment with one of the nation’s leading endocrinologists, or are interested in learning more about our trailblazing diabetes research and available clinical trials, you have come to the right place. Our team in the Diabetes Center at UCSF is internationally renowned for our excellent patient care, cutting-edge science, and lifesaving patient education.

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One of America’s Best Hospitals

UCSF is ranked among the top 5 medical centers in the nation for diabetes care.

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Federally Recognized Research Center

The Nutrition and Obesity Research Center (NORC) at Diabetes Center is one of 12 in the nation

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JDRF Center of Excellence

The JDRF Center of Excellence of Northern California is one of two groups awarded this prestigious grant

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A Message from the Director

The Diabetes Center at UCSF has one mission: to advance the care and treatment of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes worldwide so that we may achieve the ultimate goal of curing the disease.

Our organization unites the diabetes-related research, patient care, and education efforts of UCSF—one of the most respected academic medical centers on the globe. Our renowned scientists, physicians, and educators work as one team to improve the lives of diabetes patients and their families. We are very proud of our long history of making many of the breakthrough discoveries in diabetes. 

As a result of our collaborative culture, we are able to offer our patients access to the Diabetes Center's latest scientific findings, novel treatment options, and new strategies for diagnosing and managing diabetes. In return, our patients enrich our research program by providing us with insight into the disease and how it responds to our interventions. 

We invite you to learn more about our diabetes research, patient care, and education, and we welcome your involvement and support as we strive to bring an end to this disease.

—Mark Anderson, MD, PhD

Timeline

A History of Innovation

UCSF has made many of the breakthrough discoveries in diabetes, including the cloning of the human insulin gene, which made possible the unlimited supply of synthetic insulin that now is used to manage the disease in many patients. Since that time, we’ve accelerated our research efforts to help generate new treatments and cures for this disease.

1960s

  • Develop a procedure to measure insulin in blood

  • Link obesity to insulin resistance, resulting in revolutionary changes in diabetes treatment and prevention

  • Determine the hormone glucagon’s response to hypoglycemia

  • Demonstrate that elevated blood sugar causes complications, helping to pioneer the intensive glucose control strategies now utilized throughout the world 

1970s

  • Clone the insulin gene, ensuring the unlimited supply of human insulin available today

  • Identify autoimmune predictor of type 1 diabetes, helping to develop tests to predict those at risk for developing the disease

  • Clone and synthesize the human growth hormone gene

1980s

  • Develop the first immune tolerance therapies for type 1 diabetes

  • Coordinate the first multi-center clinical trial of human insulin

  • Co-discover embryonic stem cells that are widely believed to have benefits for diabetes and numerous other diseases

1990s

  • Demonstrate that elevated blood sugar causes complications, leading to glucose-control strategies now used throughout the world

  • Identify the autoimmune predictors for type 1 diabetes

  • Link obesity to type 2 diabetes, revolutionizing treatment and prevention

  • Rebuild immune functions through human stem cell-derived thymic epithelial cells

2000s

  • Form Diabetes Center, an integrated team of researchers and physicians in fields of cell development, metabolism, and immunology

  • Define a master gene that controls autoimmune T cells

  • Build one of the first fully certified islet and cellular transplantation facilities to help isolate pancreatic islets

  • Create a roadmap for deriving islets from human stem cells

2010s

  • Create the first functioning human thymus tissue from embryonic stem cells, marking a significant step toward potential new treatments for type 1 diabetes

  • Using human embryonic stem cells, generate insulin-producing cells that resemble pancreatic beta cells

  • First successful US clinical trial, shown to be safe, of polyclonal regulatory T cells adoptive immunotherapy to treat type 1 diabetes

Administrative Resources

Executive Assistant, Office of the Director

Jimmy Chen ■ 415-476-9425

Manager, Accounts & Staff

Snow Nguyen ■ 415-502-2111

Director, Diabetes Center Administration

Mounira Kenaani ■ 415-476-8796