Michael German, MD
Dr. German is a Professor in the Department of Medicine at UCSF, Associate Director and Clinical Director of the UCSF Diabetes Center, Director of the the Hillblom Islet Genesis Network and the UCSF NIH Diabetes Research Center (DRC), and a Principal Investigator in the Hormone Research Institute. He cares for patients at the UCSF Diabetes Clinic and hospital wards, teaches medical students, and lectures at the UCSF Diabetes Center’s patient self-management training courses while maintaining a research laboratory investigating diabetes at the most basic level.
Insulin, the hormone that controls energy metabolism and regulates blood glucose levels, is produced exclusively in the pancreatic beta-cells. When the insulin supplied by the beta-cells is inadequate for an individual's metabolic requirements, blood glucose levels rise and diabetes mellitus ensues. The central focus of Dr.German’s research program is the pancreatic beta-cell, the cell in the pancreas that makes insulin. He is interested in the genes that control the development of the beta-cells from stem cells. He is also interested in where these processes break down in diabetes, and in how to translate our knowledge of the beta-cell into novel strategies for curing diabetes. The German Lab's general strategy is to identify the genes that regulate the transition of stem cells to mature beta-cells. These factors and their genes are then used as tools to understand the process of beta-cell development by studying both how they regulate development and how they are regulated themselves, both in the culture dish and in the intact organism.