Meet Our Investigators
Dr. Atkinson is currently Eminent Scholar for Diabetes Research at The University of Florida. He also is the co-Director for the UF Diabetes Center of Excellence. The author of over 200 publications, Dr. Atkinson is beginning his 27th year of investigation into the field of type 1 (insulin dependent) diabetes. Dr. Atkinson has been the recipient of multiple scientific and humanitarian based awards for these efforts. Those include three from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). The first was the Gerold and Gayla Grodsky award (2001) provided to the outstanding Ph.D. investigating type 1 diabetes. More recently, he was awarded the Mary Tyler Moore & S. Robert Levine M.D. award for translational research on type 1 diabetes (2004). Finally, he was the recipient of the JDRF’s Rumbough award for contributions to diabetes research (2005). Dr. Atkinson was also a recent recipient of the prestigious Eli Lilly Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement from the American Diabetes Association (2004), a rare honor in type 1 diabetes from that organization. He has also been active in a leadership service to the type 1 diabetes community, with active administrative or advisory service to The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, The American Diabetes Association, The National Institutes of Health, Diapedia, and the Immunology of Diabetes Society. For more information on Dr. Atkinson and his research efforts, please follow this link.
Dr. Clare-Salzler’s areas of clinical expertise lie in the diagnosis and management of T1D, autoimmune thyroid disease, management of thyroid nodules, fine aspiration of thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer. He is also well versed in other endocrine diseases including Cushing’s Disease, pituitary disease, pheochromocytoma, adrenal tumors and parathyroid diseases. Dr. Clare-Salzler is a member of the NIH funded International Multi-Center diabetes prevention trial, the Diabetes Prevention Trial for T1D or DPT-1. He is also an investigator on other diabetes screening programs at UF including the infant screening program PANDA. For more information on Dr. Salzler, please follow this link.
Dr. Cusi currently serves as Chief of the Adult Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism in the Department of Medicine at the University of Florida. He oversees all adult endocrinology/diabetes inpatient consult activities and outpatient clinics at UF, Shands and the VAMC with the mission to provide the highest level of clinical care. He serves as a mentor for all clinical and laboratory research efforts, as well as mentors faculty and fellows in the division to help UF&Shands take the next step in becoming an international leader in adult diabetes, metabolism, and obesity. His experience in diabetes prior to UF was in the department of medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio for more than 15 years. Cusi is the principal investigator of various ongoing clinical translational research projects in obesity, Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). For more information on Dr. Cusi, please follow this link.
Dr. Haller began working with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) during his first year of medical school and has committed his academic career to developing safe and effective therapies for the prevention and reversal of T1D. Dr. Haller works with clinicians and researchers to develop a T1D cure. He has published over 30 manuscripts and book chapters about T1D and is the principal investigator of numerous intervention studies for T1D patients. He has received awards and research grants, including the prestigious Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Mary Tyler Moore and S. Robert Levine Excellence in Clinical Research Award, the Lawson Wilkins Clinical Scholar Award, a JDRF innovative research grant, an NIH R21 award, and a JDRF Early Career Clinically Oriented Award to support his work in developing combination therapies for T1D. For more information on Dr. Haller and his recent efforts, please follow this link.
Dr. Schatz has been involved in Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) research since the mid 1980s and has published over 180 manuscripts, mainly relating to the prediction, natural history, genetics, immunopathogenesis and prevention of T1D. He is the principal investigator of multiple ongoing T1D clinical trials at the Diabetes Center of Excellence. Recently he was awarded the Mary Tyler Moore and S. Robert Levine JDRF Excellence in Clinical Research Award with his colleaues Dr. Mark Atkinson and Dr. Mike Haller. For more information on Dr. Schatz, please follow this link.
Dr. Silverstein is the Chief of Pediatric Endocrinology in the College of Medicine, holds varied roles as a diabetes clinician, and has served on several committees including the executive committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Workgroup of the National Diabetes Education Program. Dr. Silverstein focuses on type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, obesity, psychosocial issues in pediatric chronic disease, general endocrinology, lipid disorders, and patient advocacy. She helped develop training and educational materials that can be used in schools across the nation to address the needs of children with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Dr. Silverstein writes the Kids Corner, a monthly column in Diabetes Forecast, a publication for people with diabetes. She has chaired the Council of Youth of the American Diabetes Association and has worked with the ADA to develop standards of care for children with diabetes. For more information on Dr. Silverstein, please follow this link.
Dr. Xia is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology and completed his graduate education in China and two post-doctoral fellowships before becoming an assistant professor at the University of Florida. He studies Type I Diabetes (T1D) and uses dendritic cell vaccines to prevent and reverse T1D. Dr. Xia is a key investigator in several diabetes clinical trials at UF, including nutritional intervention and prevention of T1D as well as dendritic cell immunotherapy on T1D. For more information on Dr. Xia and his recent efforts, please follow this link.
Dr. Brusko, and the entire team of type 1 diabetes researchers at the University of Florida are dedicated to the development of safe and effective therapies to prevent and reverse type 1 diabetes. Dr. Brusko’s laboratory works in close collaboration with Drs. Michael Haller and Desmond Schatz to conduct mechanistic studies in ongoing clinical trials, as well as to generate novel avenues for therapeutic intervention. The research program in the Brusko laboratory focuses on studying the human immune response in individuals that develop autoimmunity in an effort to develop better ways to predict, intervene, and ultimately treat individuals with type 1 diabetes. The laboratory is particularly interested in the fundamental events that control T cell activation and expansion, as these events are defective in individuals that develop type 1 diabetes. For more information on Dr. Brusko, please click here.
Dr. Mathews’ studies have forged a new path in the understanding of autoimmune diabetes. While the majority of the field focuses on identifying defects in cells of the immune system, the guiding hypothesis of Dr. Mathews’ research is that insulin secreting pancreatic beta cells are active contributors to the autoimmune process in T1D. Dr. Mathews’ investigations have provided the proof of concept for many subsequent therapy studies by both his and other groups. Dr. Mathews is also an investigator on the nPOD Project. His current study is researching Islet resistance to Type 1 Diabetes. For more information on Dr. Mathews, please click here.
Dr. Winter is a professor in the departments of pathology, immunology, and laboratory medicine; pediatrics; and molecular genetics and microbiology at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville. His duties include serving as a clinical chemist for Shands Hospital and directing the 2nd year medical student pathology course. He has given numerous presentations and has published extensively on behalf of the American Board of Clinical Chemistry, and as an NIH-funded investigator, he is principle investigator for the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Islet Cell Autoantibody Core Laboratory. His current research interests include studying the more unusual manifestations of diabetes in children and adolescents, autoantibody testing in type 1 diabetes, and type 2 diabetes in pediatric patients. For more information on Dr. Winter, please click here.
The University of Florida’s research team is collectively one of the most dynamic programs in the United States. Nearly 50 scientists are committed to moving research from the laboratory to the clinical setting in efforts to prevent, treat and cure type 1 and type 2 diabetes and their complications. Learn more.