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Michael Haller, MD

Dr. Michael Haller is a pediatric endocrinologist with a passion for patient care, teaching, and research. Dr. Haller’s research focuses on predicting, preventing, and reversing type 1 diabetes through a team approach that emphasizes translating findings from the laboratory bench to the patient’s bedside in a timely manner. Dr. Haller is an active investigator in the NIH funded Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet and The Environmental Determinants of Diabetes in Youth (TEDDY) study.

Dr. Haller serves as the University of Florida principal investigator (PI) for the TrialNet anti-CD20 studies, as a co-investigator for all other TrialNet studies, and as the Chair of the Clinical Implementation Committee for the TEDDY study.

Dr. Haller is also the PI of a novel study aimed at using autologous umbilical cord blood stem cells as a potential therapy for type 1 diabetes. In this study, children with recent onset type 1 diabetes receive an IV infusion of their own umbilical cord blood cells in addition to vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acid supplementation, In addition, he is the PI of a pilot study which seeks to determine the potential of granulocyte colony stimulating factor (GCSF) to augment the autoimmune destruction of islets in patients with recent onset type 1 diabetes. Studies have already demonstrated that GCSF can prevent diabetes in animal models and these findings are now being tested in humans. Last, Dr. Haller is the site PI for a mutli-center study using mesenchymal stem cells in recently diagnosed patients.

Dr. Haller has been awarded the Lawson Wilkins Clinical Scholar award, a JDRF innovative research grant, two NIH R21 awards, and a JDRF Early Career Clinically Oriented award to support his work in developing combination therapies for Type 1 diabetes. In 2008, Dr. Haller, and his colleagues Dr. Desmond Schatz and Dr. Mark Atkinson received the JDRF’s highest award, the Mary Tyler Moore and S.Robert Levine Excellence in Clinical Research Award, for their team approach to developing therapies for type 1 diabetes. In 2009, Dr. Haller and his colleagues also received the ADA Cure Award.

Research Focus

Michael Haller, MD, 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. As a clinician-scientist, Dr. Haller’s efforts are focused on providing exemplary clinical care for children with Type 1 diabetes while working to speed the translation of information learned from animal models of Type 1 diabetes to the development of therapies for patients.

Given the complex nature of Type 1 diabetes, Dr. Haller believes that combination or cocktail therapy approaches are necessary to effectively intervene in the autoimmune process. In addition, Dr. Haller feels that the use of drugs already on the market with known risks and benefits to treat other diseases should be explored to speed the development of a cure. In collaboration with Drs. Mark Atkinson and Desmond Schatz, Dr. Haller’s research efforts are focused on combining cell therapies, immunomodulating drugs, and beta-cell regenerative agents. Preliminary data demonstrate that some combinations of these drugs can reverse diabetes in nearly 90% of newly diagnosed mice. Studies to test these agents for safety are underway in people with Type 1 diabetes and combination studies are planned for the near future.

Dr. Haller participates in the NIH funded Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet and TEDDY consortia, performing studies aimed at testing additional therapies for reversing Type 1 diabetes and unlocking the mystery of what environmental triggers cause Type 1 diabetes.

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