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Endocrinology & Diabetes Research

Connecticut Children’s endocrinology faculty and fellows are actively involved in a broad scope of research that includes 18 IRB-approved studies.

Center for Rare Bone Disorders

Established by Emily Germain-Lee, MD, our Center for Rare Bone Disorders is home to the Albright Center, the first and only center in the world dedicated to Albright hereditary osteodystrophy (AHO). Our center for Osteogenesis Imperfecta (OI), or brittle bone disease, also falls under the center’s umbrella. A major goal of the Center for Rare Bone Disorders is to discover the causes of rare bone diseases and develop new therapeutic strategies to treat them. Learn more about the Center for Rare Bone Disorders >

Advancing Care of Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases

The diabetes program specialists at Connecticut Children’s are continuously researching better ways to manage pediatric diabetes and eventually find a cure.

Cem Demirci, MD, Director of the Diabetes Program, is working with Dr. Derya Unutmaz, a researcher from The Jackson Laboratory to explore the intestinal microbiome and the link between the foods we eat, the microbes we host, and diabetes. The next phase of this research will focus on which genes are turned on and off as a result of this microbiome and immune system interaction.

Sunitha Sura, MD leads the Lipid Disorders Clinic. It is one of the few clinics in the country within a pediatric endocrinology & diabetes division solely focused on the management of childhood lipid disorders. Dr. Sura and Dr. Germain-Lee are active in a company-sponsored clinical trial of a novel lipid-lowering agent in children with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.

Emily Germain-Lee, MD, is collaborating with The Jackson Laboratory/UConn Health investigator Dr. Se-Jin Lee on a research program aimed at discovering new strategies to improve the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels. This project, partly supported by a grant from the NIH, aims to enhance the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin and improve the peripheral tissues’ responsiveness to it. This project will focus on understanding the roles of the secreted proteins that belong to the transforming growth factor-β superfamily of signaling molecules in regulating pancreatic development and function as well as other tissues that play important roles in glucose control. Their goal is to develop methods of manipulating the activities of signaling molecules to treat diabetes.

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