​Joslin Investigators


Dr. Lloyd Paul Aiello is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and received his M.D. and Ph.D. (biochemistry) degrees from the Boston University School of Medicine. He completed his residency in ophthalmology at the Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute at Johns Hopkins University and Hospital before coming to the Joslin Diabetes Center. At the Joslin Diabetes Center he completed both a clinical vitreoretinal fellowship and a research fellowship before joining the Joslin staff in 1994. Dr Aiello is Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, Vice Chair for Centers of Excellence at Harvard Department of Ophthalmology, Director of the Beetham Eye Institute of the Joslin Diabetes Center (JDC), Medical Director of Ophthalmology and Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Head of the Section of Eye Research (JDC), Vice President of Ophthalmology at JDC, and Founding Chair of the National Eye Institute Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network. He has served as Chair for the Lions Club International SightFirst Diabetic Retinopathy Research Program Review Panel, the Complications Section, of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Medical Science Review Committee and the Clinical Investigation Section of the JDRF.


Dr. Blackwell is Associate Research Director and co-head of the Section on Islet Cell and Regenerative Biology at Joslin, and a Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School. He received a B.S. in Chemistry from Duke University (Durham, NC) in 1978, and the M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University (New York, NY) in 1987 and 1988, respectively. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Seattle, WA) in 1993. His lab studies gene regulatory mechanisms that play critical roles in metabolism, cell growth, defenses against stress, and maintaining a healthy lifespan. At Joslin he also directs an NIH-funded Training Program in Diabetes and Metabolism.


​Dr. Bonner-Weir is a Senior Investigator (Joslin) and Professor of Medicine (Harvard Medical School). She is or was on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Physiology, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Endocrinology, Cell Transplant, and Diabetes. She is or was a member of grant review panels for the NIH, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the American Diabetes Association, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, and the European Research Council.


​​Jerry Cavallerano, O.D., Ph.D. received his O.D. degree from the New England College of Optometry, Boston, MA and his Ph.D. from Fordham University, Bronx, NY. He is a Staff Optometrist and Clinical Investigator, Beetham Eye Institute of Joslin Diabetes Center and Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School. Research is conducted predominantly as part of the research team of the Beetham Eye Institute. Research activities are concentrated as clinical co-investigator and visual function examiner in National Eye Institute sponsored clinical trials of diabetic retinopathy, studies sponsored by major pharmaceutical companies, and ocular telemedicine.


Dr. Doria is a Senior Investigator in the Section on Genetics and Epidemiology as well as Co-Director of the Molecular Phenotyping and Genotyping Core at Joslin Diabetes Center. He is also Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health. He received his medical degree and his doctorate in endocrinology and metabolism from the University of Padua in Italy, and his M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health. The goal of Dr. Doria's research is to identify factors that predispose to the long-term complications of diabetes and use this knowledge to find novel treatments to prevent, stop, or reverse these health problems.


​Dr. Jonathan Dreyfuss received his Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from Boston University. He and Dr. Hui Pan provide bioinformatics service to investigators at Joslin on all high-throughput data types, and are available to provide service to those outside Joslin. His research focuses on developing bioinformatics methodologies, especially using networks, and applying them in collaboration with Joslin investigators. He is the Associate Director of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics.


​Robert A. Gabbay, M.D., Ph.D., has extensive clinical and research experience and is Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President at Joslin Diabetes Center and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on improving primary care health care delivery to enhance diabetes outcomes and patients' experiences. Dr. Gabbay has received funding from NIDDK, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation for his care transformation work. His interventions include behavior change using motivational interviewing, self-management support, decision support, technology, population health, medical neighborhood, and care management.


Dr. Jason Gaglia is a Clinician and Assistant Investigator in the Section of Immunobiology, Associate Director of the Joslin Clinical Translational Research Center, and Director of the Hood Center for Prevention of Childhood Diabetes. He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is a graduate of Rutgers College in New Jersey (Biochemistry and Microbiology, Biology, Chemistry, and General Physics). He received his medical degree and masters of science in clinical research from Harvard Medical School. His research group participates in Type 1 diabetes intervention/pathogenesis studies and is focused on developing better disease markers.


​Dr. Om Ganda is a senior physician and clinical research scientist at Joslin Diabetes Center for many years. He directs the Lipid Clinic at Joslin. His research interests include prevention of cardiovascular outcomes in diabetes. He is an educator for residents, fellows, and at various national and international meetings.


Dr. Laurie Goodyear is an internationally renowned investigator examining the molecular mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of physical exercise on metabolic health. Dr. Goodyear is a Senior Investigator at Joslin, the co-Head of the Section on Integrative Physiology and Metabolism, the Director of the NIH-funded Diabetes Research Center Animal Physiology Core, and the Director of the Clinical Exercise Physiology Research Laboratory. She is also Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Goodyear is a graduate of Springfield College in Massachusetts (B.S. in Physical Education, Magna Cum Laude), The University of South Carolina (M.S. in Exercise Physiology), and The University of Vermont (Ph.D. in Cell Biology).


​Hamdy Clinical Research Lab is evaluating the short- and long-term effects of weight reduction on several metabolic and cardiovascular outcomes in patients with diabetes. The lab is also studying different models of medical nutrition therapy in relation to weight reduction, diabetes control, hepatic steatosis, intestinal microbiota, body fat distribution and cardiovascular risk factors. The lab is also testing novel diabetes technology including non-invasive continuous glucose monitory devices and hybrid closed-loop artificial pancreas. Dr. Hamdy's lab is also conducting several FDA-regulated clinical trials of novel drugs and devices for diabetes management.


​Dr. Edward Horton has been involved in diabetes research since 1964. His primary research interests are in studying insulin resistance, obesity, physical exercise and the regulation of energy balance as they relate to the development of diabetes and its co-morbidities, including both microvascular and cardiovascular diseases. Current major projects are the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study and the LookAHEAD Study.


Dr. Albert Hwa is a graduate of Cornell University, where he earned a degree in Chemical Engineering. Dr. Hwa received his Ph.D. in Biological Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Albert Hwa Is the Operations Director for Joslin Diabetes Center's Center for Cell-based Therapy for Diabetes (CCTD) and is a Lecturer of Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on cell replacement and regeneration therapies for diabetes and its complications.


​​C. Ronald Kahn is a world recognized expert in diabetes and obesity research, as well as a preeminent investigator in the area of insulin signal transduction and mechanisms of altered signaling in diabetes and metabolic disease. Dr. Kahn is Senior Investigator, Head of the Section on Integrative Physiology and Metabolism at Joslin Diabetes Center and the Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Kahn served as Research Director of the Joslin Diabetes Center from 1981 to 2000, and served as President of Joslin from 2001 to 2007. He is currently the Center’s Chief Academic Officer.Dr. Kahn has received more than 70 awards and honors, including the highest honors of the American Diabetes Association, U.S. and British Endocrine Societies, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, European Association for the Study of Diabetes and the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, and election to the National Academy of Science and Institute of Medicine. He has authored more than 600 original publications and 200 reviews and chapters.Dr. Kahn holds undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Louisville. He also holds an honorary Master of Science from Harvard University, honorary Doctor of Science degrees from the University of Paris, University of Louisville, University of Geneva and Washington University in St. Louis, an honorary Doctor of Medicine from the University of Copenhagen and is an honorary Professor and Director of the Diabetes Center at Peking University School of Medicine.


​My laboratory studies the mechanism by which hyperglycemia, diabetes and insulin resistance are causing diabetic retinopathy, nephropathy and cardiovascular diseases.


Dr. Kissler received his B.Sc. in Biochemistry and his Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Bristol, UK. Following postdoctoral work at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA, Dr. Kissler was appointed to a group leadership at the Rudolf Virchow Center at the University of Wurzburg, Germany, in 2007. In April 2012, Dr. Kissler returned to Boston to join the section for Immunobiology at Joslin Diabetes Center, where his laboratory is studying the autoimmune attack on the pancreas that underlies Type 1 diabetes.


Originally from Canada, Dr. Kostic did his undergraduate work at the University of Toronto and then received his Ph.D. in the program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences at Harvard Medical School. He conducted his postdoctoral work at the Broad Institute. His research has earned him several distinctions including a Helen Hay Whitney Fellowship, the Lawrence H. Summers Fellowship, and a spot on the annual Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 list.


Dr. Krolewski heads the Section on Genetics and Epidemiology and is a Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. from Warsaw Medical University in Poland. He obtained training in diabetes research at Joslin Diabetes Center and in molecular human genetics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Drawing upon the large Joslin Clinic patient population, Dr. Krolewski has established a world-renowned multi-disciplinary research laboratory that combines epidemiologic, genetic and proteomic methods to study the causes of kidney complications (diabetic nephropathy) in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and how to diagnose and treat them.


​The Kulkarni lab is focused on differentiating induced pluripotent stem cells to generate insulin-producing cells. Complementary studies are aimed at identifying endogenous/exogenous proteins that can be targeted with the long-term goal of enhancing functional beta cells to treat and/or cure type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.


Dr. Lori Laffel is Chief of the Pediatric, Adolescent and Young Adult Section and Head of the Section on Clinical, Behavioral and Outcomes Research at Joslin Diabetes Center, as well as a Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Her research focuses on understanding and overcoming challenges to adherence in children, adolescents, and young adults with diabetes in order to improve glycemic control and biomedical and psychosocial outcomes, particularly through use of diabetes technologies such as continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and automated insulin delivery systems.


Jongsoon Lee, Ph.D., is an Assistant Investigator in the Section on Pathophysiology and Molecular Pharmacology at Joslin and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Lee received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Seoul National University in Korea. He received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Boston University School of Medicine. The major interest of Dr. Lee's lab is to determine the roles immune cells play in the development of obesity-induced inflammation and insulin resistance.


Sarah Lessard, Ph.D. is an Assistant Investigator in the Section on Clinical, Behavioral, and Outcomes Research at Joslin and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She received her B.Sc. and Master’s degrees from the University of Guelph in Canada, and her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia. The Lessard lab combines basic science and clinical studies to investigate physical exercise as a therapy for the treatment and prevention of diabetes and its complications. Specific research goals include determining the molecular mechanisms by which exercise-stimulated adaptations in skeletal muscle contribute to metabolic health.


​Dr. Li earned his M.D. at Shanghai Railway University and Ph.D. at Peking University of China. Then he was trained at Cardiovascular Research Center of Massachusetts General Hospital for two years as a Postdoctoral Fellow. He is currently in Dr. George L. King's laboratory at Joslin Diabetes Center and is an Instructor of Harvard Medical School. Qian is interested in how diabetes accelerates atherosclerosis through effects on endothelial cells, macrophages, and vascular smooth muscle cells.


​Dr. Lipes is a physicial-scientist who received her medical degree from McGill University in Montreal. After completing her residency training in Pediatrics, she was a Medical Staff Fellow in the Endocrinology Program and a Research Associate in the Cell Biology and Metabolism Branch at the National Institutes of Health. Since joining Joslin Diabetes Center, she has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Mary K. lacocca Faculty Fellowship, a Smith Family Foundation New Investigator and the Charles H. Hood Child Health Research Award. She has also served as a standing member of the NIDDK Cellular Aspects of Diabetes and Obesity (CADO) study section (2007-11).


​Dr. Loeken studies the molecular causes of birth defects, especially neural tube defects, in diabetic pregnancy. Her lab uses mouse models and embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells in order to understand the how excessive embryo glucose metabolism disturbs the metabolic cues that control proliferation and cell fate during embryonic development.


Dr. Mehta is an Investigator in the Section of Clinical, Behavioral, and Outcomes Research. Dr. Mehta focuses on health care delivery and outcomes for individuals with diabetes, participates in national diabetes quality improvement initiatives, and is exploring the use of artificial intelligence to improve clinical care and operational efficiency. He is a pediatric endocrinologist and Joslin's Chief Medical Information Officer and Chief Quality Officer. He received his B.A. and M.D. from Northwestern University and his M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health. He is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School.


​Dr. Mitri is a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School and is a clinical investigator interested in lifestyle based interventions in patients with diabetes and in complex lipid disorders. She received her medical degree in Lebanon and completed her fellowship training at Tufts. She earned a Master's degree in clinical research at the Sackler School. Her research has focused on cardiovascular risk reduction in patients with diabetes. She is conducting a clinical trial looking at the effect of low fat versus high fat dairy in diabetes and works with Joslin's affiliates to improve quality of diabetes care.


​Dr. Munshi is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. She is a geriatric endocrinologist and directs the geriatric diabetes program at the Joslin clinic. This program uses an interdisciplinary approach beyond the traditional diabetes program that considers clinical, functional, and psychosocial barriers faced by older adults. She is also a primary care geriatrician at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Her research is focused on identifying challenges faced by older adults with diabetes, and developing novel strategies to overcome these barriers for improved disease management.


Dr. Patti received her undergraduate and medical degrees through an accelerated medical school program at Jefferson Medical College, followed by internal medicine residency at the University of Pittsburgh, and training in the joint Harvard Medical School endocrinology fellowship program. She is currently Investigator, Co-Director of the Joslin Advanced Genetics and Genomics Core, Director of the Hypoglycemia Clinic (all at Joslin Diabetes Center), and Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Patti has served on many volunteer leadership roles within the American Diabetes Association. She was elected to the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2009 and to Fellowship in both the Obesity Society and American College of Physicians in 2014​. The primary focus of the Patti Laboratory is to identify the molecular and metabolic pathways which are disrupted in individuals at risk for diabetes. We are particularly interested in mechanisms by which environmental or nutritional factors can mediate risk, potentially by altering transcriptional regulation and metabolism at a cellular level, and how risk can be transmitted from one generation to the next via epigenetic mechanisms.


Rask-Madsen lab studies the relationship between obesity, diabetes and cancer. Our focus is on how dysfunction vascular cells may promote tumor formation. We believe that endothelial cell dysfunction can increase cancer development by contributing to chronic inflammation or create a supporting vascular niche for cancer stem cells.


Marilyn Ritholz is an Assistant Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She received her B.A. degree from University of California, Berkeley and her Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is a clinician-researcher in the Toschi lab. She studies the psychosocial aspects of diabetes through qualitative research with a particular focus on diabetes technology.


Sylvia E. Rosas, MD, MSCE is a nephrologist and epidemiologist at the Joslin Diabetes Center. She is the Director of the Latino Kidney Clinic at Joslin Diabetes Center. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She graduated from the Universidad del Rosario School of Medicine in Bogotá, Colombia. Dr. Rosas then completed her Internal Medicine training at Michael Reese Hospital/University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Rosas completed her Nephrology and Epidemiology training at University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Rosas’s primary research focus is on the epidemiology of metabolic and cardiovascular disease complications in patients with chronic kidney disease. She is also interested in health disparities research.Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health (NHLBI and NIDDK), American Heart Association and the Veteran’s Health Administration.


The Schaffer lab uses genetic, cell biological and physiological approaches to study metabolism and the mechanisms through which metabolic stress leads to cell dysfunction and organ damage. Major areas of focus are lipotoxicity and diabetes complications.


​Type 1 diabetes results from an autoimmune T cell attack beta cells within the pancreas. The research efforts of the Serwold lab focus on identifying key steps in the development of both normal and autoimmune T cells, on detecting autoimmune T cells in ongoing disease, and on developing novel approaches for preventing autoimmune T cell development.


​The Shoelson lab identifies physiological and pathological mechanisms amenable to being targeted for the development of potential new therapies for diabetes and its complications. The proteins and pathways currently being targeted include inflammation, AMPK, mTOR and HSF1.


Dr. Silva is a Staff Ophthalmologist and Assistant Chief of Telemedicine at the Beetham Eye Institute of Joslin Diabetes Center, as well as Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. His work is focused on innovative and investigative work in a field that is at the intersection of clinical care and technology with the hope of providing an ideal model for the delivery of evidence based highly effective and efficient diabetes eye care to the population that needs it the most. Dr. Silva's primary expertise lies in the fields of ocular telehealth for diabetic retinopathy, ultrawide field retinal imaging and electronic medical record review.


Robert C. Stanton is Chief of the Kidney and Hypertension Section, a Research Scientist in the Vascular Section, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is a graduate of Harvard College and Hahnemann Medical College. Internal Medicine residency was done at Oregon Health Sciences University and Nephrology Fellowship at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Dr. Stanton's research discovered that glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase, NADP, and the pentose phosphate pathway are essential for cell survival. The main laboratory goals are to understand the how this system is regulated, interacts with other systems, and plays a role in many diseases.


Dr. Sun is a vitreoretinal surgeon and Chief of the Center for Clinical Eye Research and Trials of the Beetham Eye Institute, Joslin Diabetes Center. She is an Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. She also serves as the Chair for the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network (DRCR.net) and has chaired multiple nationwide, multicenter studies addressing new treatments and methods of evaluation for diabetic eye disease. Her research projects include the search for biomarkers of functional and anatomic outcomes in diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema through utilization of advanced retinal imaging techniques.


​Elena Toschi, M.D., works as Physician in the adult clinic mostly focusing on Type 1 diabetes and the adoption of technology to improve diabetes management. She is the Director of the Joslin Diabetes Technology Program. Her research focuses on the use of technology in a clinical setting to improve diabetes outcomes.


​Dr. Yu-Hua Tseng is an internationally distinguished scientist at the forefront of research focused on brown fat biology, energy metabolism, gene expression, signal transduction, and mitochondrial biology, and how these relate to obesity and diabetes. Dr. Yu-Hua Tseng is a Senior Investigator in the Section on Integrative Physiology and Metabolism at the Joslin Diabetes Center, and an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tseng received her doctorate in Developmental Biology and Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and completed postdoctoral training at Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School.


Amy Wagers is the Forst Family Professor of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and a Senior Investigator at the Joslin Diabetes Center. Her laboratory investigates how changes in stem cell activity impact tissue homeostasis and repair throughout life, and how stem cells may be harnessed for regenerative medicine using cell transplantation and gene editing approaches.


​Gordon Weir M.D. is a member of the Section on Islet and Regenerative Biology, holds the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation Chair at Joslin, and is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Weir received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Weir's research has focused on pancreatic islets, in particular on the function of islets in the normal and diabetic state, on beta cell replacement therapies, on protection of beta cells from immune destruction by encapsulation and other means, and on developing alternative sources of insulin-producing cells.


Dr. Peng Yi grew up in Shandong, China. He graduated from University of Science and Technology of China in 2003 with a B.S. degree on Molecular and Cell Biology. He then joined Professor Eric Olson's laboratory in University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center and obtained a Ph.D. degree on Genetics and Developmental Biology in 2007. In 2008, he moved to Boston and completed a Postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Professor Douglas Melton in Harvard University. He received the Helen Hays Whitney Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2009. During his postdoc training, he focused on pancreatic beta cell replication and expansion. In 2013, Dr. Yi became an Assistant Investigator at the Joslin Diabetes Center.