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Meet Our Team

Mark Atkinson, Ph.D.

Dr. Mark Atkinson is the American Diabetes Association eminent scholar for diabetes research at The University of Florida. The author of over 375 publications, he is beginning his 30th year of investigation into the field of type 1 diabetes (T1D). He is an internationally recognized authority on multiple aspects pertaining to T1D, with particular interests in disease prediction and prevention, the role for environment in the disease, stem cells and pancreatic regeneration, and the identification of markers for tolerance and immunoregulation. Mark is also the Director of JDRF nPOD, an international effort dedicated to an improved understanding of human T1D. Finally, as President of IFL-USA and a key advisor to Life for a Child, he seeks to provide diabetes related support for international based efforts designed to bring food/medications/education to impoverished nations.

 

Michael Clare-Salzler, M.D.

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.

 

Pat ConcannonPatrick Concannon, Ph.D.

Dr. Concannon is the director of the Genetics Institute at the University of Florida. His areas of expertise include the role of genetics in type 1 diabetes, breast cancer, malnutrition and radiation sensitivity. He previously served as the University of Virginia’s Center for Public Health Genomics and is a professor of biochemistry and molecular genetics, as well as a professor of hematology and oncology. With over 25 years of research work and supported by more than $12 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Dr. Concannon’s work has led to more than 35 book chapters and 175 peer-reviewed papers in top journals, including Nature, the Journal of the American Medical Association, The New England Journal of Medicine and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

 

Cusi 150x150Kenneth Cusi, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.E.

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 Health 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 II diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

 

Haller smallMichael Haller, M.D.

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 75 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 ADA Cure Award, the Lawson Wilkins Clinical Scholar Award, and the ISPAD Young Investigator Award. Dr. Haller is currently funded by the NIH, JDRF, and the Helmsley Trust to support his work in developing combination therapies for T1D.

 

Desmond Schatz, M.D.

Dr. Schatz has been involved in type 1 diabetes research since the mid 80s and has published over 260 manuscripts, the majority related to the prediction, natural history, genetics, immunopathogenesis and prevention of the disease, as well as the management of children and adolescents with type 1 diabetes. He is the Principal Investigator (PI) on several JDRF and NIH awards. He is PI on JDRF funded studies aimed at reversing type 1 diabetes and is currently PI the of the UF Clinical Research Center participating in the NIH-funded TrialNet. He serves as co-PI on a Program Project Grant looking at the immunopathogenesis of type 1 diabetes, and also serves as co-PI for the NIH-funded international newborn genetic screening (TEDDY) program in North Central Florida. He has served in numerous leadership and scientific capacities for the American Diabetes Association and is the president-elect of the ADA.

 

Janet Silverstein, M.D.

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.

 

Martha Campbell Thompson, D.V.M., Ph.D. 

Dr. Campbell-Thompson, D.V.M., Ph.D, serves as the Pathology Core Principal Investigator at the University of Florida, where she earned doctorates in veterinary medicine and veterinary physiology. A board certified large animal veterinary surgeon, Dr. Campbell-Thompson moved into basic research after receiving her Ph.D. She has over 20 years experience in animal models of human disease with an emphasis on type 1 diabetes. She brings managerial experience to her role as primary administrator of the Pathology Core, providing histological and immunolocalization services to over 100 investigators at the University of Florida, in the United States, and overseas. In collaboration with Dr. Atkinson’s group, Dr. Campbell-Thompson has become the lead pathologist for all rodent and human type 1 diabetes studies.

 

Chang Qing Xia, M.D., Ph.D.

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.

 

keselowsky

Benjamin Keselowsky, Ph.D. 

Dr. Keselowsky is an Associate Professor in the UF Department of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Keselowsky’s research interests focus on the use of targeted controlled release systems for directing immune cell function, with application in vaccines for type 1 diabetes and high throughput screening. He is recognized for his individual contributions to diabetes research and innovation, and serves on the Advisory Board of Journal of Materials Chemistry B, and Editorial Board of Journal of Biomedical Materials Research A. His research is funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and closely works with other core members of the UF Diabetes Institute.  

 

Todd Brusko, Ph.D.

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.

 

Cherie Stabler, Ph.D.

Dr. Stabler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Florida. Her research centers on the engineering of cell-based tissues for the treatment of Type 1 diabetes, specifically the development of novel biomaterials for: cellular encapsulation; three-dimensional scaffolds; and in situ oxygen and drug release. Through the fabrication of novel biomaterials capable of actively interfacing with the host, she seeks to modulate the graft environment to favor the survival and optimal function of the implanted cells. She has published in a broad range of journals, from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, to Biomacromolecules, to Cell Transplantation. She is a recipient of the 2008 NIH NIDDK Type 1 Diabetes Pathfinder DP2 Award. Her research is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the Helmsley Trust.

 

Clayton E. Mathews, Ph.D.

Clayton E. Mathews, Ph.D., is a Professor in the Department of Pathology, Immunology, and Laboratory Medicine and in the Department of Pediatrics (Division of Endocrinology) at the University of Florida College of Medicine.  Dr. Mathews is the director the Center for Immunology and Transplantation as well as the Immunology Graduate Program at the University of Florida.  He is an active member of the UF Diabetes Institute and has held the Sebastian Family Chair for Diabetes Research since 2007.  His research program has improved our understanding of the type 1 diabetes at the molecular interface between immune effectors and β cells by identifying genetic factors that provide resistance to beta cell destruction.

 

William Winter, M.D., D.A.B.C.C., F.A.C.B.

Since 1982, William E. Winter, M.D., has been involved in a variety of research studies on diabetes and related endocrine disorders. In 1997, he was appointed medical director of the UF Health Pathology Laboratories’ Endocrine Autoantibody Laboratory. Dr. Winter is a diplomate of the American Board of Clinical Chemistry and American Board of Pathology-certified in pediatrics, pediatric endocrinology and chemical pathology. He is also is the principal investigator for the islet cell autoantibody core laboratory for the NIH-funded study, “Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet.”  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.

 

Diabetes Research: Affliliate Faculty

The UF Diabetes Institute team is collectively one of the most dynamic programs in the United States. Nearly 100 UF members from multiple colleges and disciplines are committed to moving research from the laboratory to the clinical setting in efforts to prevent, diagnose, and treat diabetes.