Pilot/Feasibility Study Grant Program Awardees


  • David Bridges, PhD, Assistant Professor, Nutritional Sciences, “The role of adipose tissue in obesity-associated glucocorticoid responses”
  • Isin Cakir, PhD, Research Investigator, Life Sciences Institute, “Reversal of diet-induced obesity with histone deacetylase 6 inhibitors”
  • Sela Panapasa, PhD, Associate Research Scientist, Research Center on Group Dynamics, Institute for Social Research, “Prevalence and Correlates of Diabetes: The Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander National Health Interview Survey, 2014”
  • Ulrike Klueh, PhD, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering, Wayne State University, “Development of blood biomarkers for clinical management of diabetic foot ulcers”
  • Suresh Palaniyandi, PhD, Assistant Scientist, Internal Medicine - Hypertension and Vascular Research Division, Henry Ford Health System, “Role for ALDH2 in endothelial cell energy metabolism in diabetic cardiomyopathy: An iPSC approach”
  • Deborah Tate, PhD, Professor, Department of Health Behavior and Nutrition, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina, “Adaptation of a digital weight loss intervention promoting self-regulation for use in type 2 diabetes"


  • Jonathan Flak, PhD, Research Investigator, Internal Medicine, University of Michigan “Uncovering the neurocircuitry that drive counterregulation downstream from the VMN”
  • Carol F. Elias, PhD, Associate Professor, Molecular and Integrative Physiology “Cellular and molecular basis of diabetes-induced placental dysfunction”
  • Robert Wessells, PhD, Assistant Professor, Physiology, Wayne State University “Cardiac lipolysis in Drosophila is controlled by the ABHD5 homolog bremse (CG1882)”
  • Xiangmin Zhang, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Research, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Wayne State University “Recombinant attenuated bacteria as drug to initiate insulin synthesis in vivo”


  • Kevin Atkins, MD, PhD, Assistant Research Scientist, Internal Medicine-Nephrology, University of Michigan “The role of GLUT4 on the development of vasculopathy in diabetes”
  • Marianna Sadagurski, PhD, Assistant Research Scientist, Internal Medicine, Geriatrics & Palliative Medicine University of Michigan “Role of growth hormone receptor (GHR) in nutrient-sensing leptin receptor expressing neurons (LEPR-B) in physiology and neuronal function”
  • Renny Franceschi, PhD, Professor, Periodontics & Oral Medicine, School of Dentistry, University of Michigan “Discoidin receptor 2 and adiponectin in energy and mineral homeostasis; relationship to type 2 diabetes”
  • Brigid Gregg, MD, Assistant Professor, Pediatric Endocrinology, Department of Pediatrics, University of Michigan “Understanding the role of metformin during lactation in programming of offspring weight and glucose homeostasis”
  • Wei Perng, PhD, MPH, Department of Nutritional Sciences, SPH, University of Michigan “A prospective study of metabolomics patterns and glycemia in U.S. and Mexican Children”
  • Kyle Burghardt, PharmD, Assistant Professor, College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Wayne State University “Insulin resistance induced by antipsychotic medication in the absence of weight gain: impact of skeletal muscle epigenetic and protein mechanisms”
  • Jennifer Hill, PhD, Assistant Professor, Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Toledo “Intergenerational obesity resulting from lactational impairment”
  • Alexander Johnson, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology, Michigan State University “Modulation of predictive regulation via chemogenetic and optogenetic control of Melanin Concentrating Hormone”
  • Tammy Chang, MD, MPH, MS, Assistant Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of Michigan “Speaking their language: Using social media and texting to create an adolescent-centered approach to healthy weight gain during pregnancy”


  • Craig Harris, PhD, Professor of Toxicology, Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan “Fetal programming of oxidative stress and insulin resistance”
  • Elizabeth Speliotes, MD, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine-Gastroenterology, University of Michigan “Metabolic studies on Lypla1 mutant mice”
  • Jun Wu, PhD., Research Investigator, Neurology, University of Michigan “The role of activation of RAGE by AGEs in diabetes-induced neuropathic pain”
  • Minal Patel, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Health Behavior & Health Education, University of Michigan “Feasibility of pre-visit screening of diabetes-related financial burden on care outcomes”
  • Ren Zhang, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Center for Molecular Medicine & Genetics, Wayne State University “Examination of therapeutic potentials of lipasin monoclonal antibodies and the ChREBP-mediated transcriptional regulation”
  • Jian Wang, MD PhD, Assistant Professor, Pathology, Wayne State University “Regulation of glycine metabolism is diabetes”


  • Paula Goforth, PhD, Assistant Research Scientist, Pharmacology, University of Michigan, “Chronic regulation of lateral hypothalamic circuits by leptin”
  • Jennifer W. Hill, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Toledo, “Inflammatory processes driving insulin resistance in polycystic ovary syndrome”
  • Marianna Sadagurski, PhD, Assistant Research Scientist, Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, “Hypothalamic inflammation and energy homeostasis in long-lived mice models and its impact on whole body metabolism and metabolic signaling”
  • Dawn P Misra, PhD, MHS, Professor, Family Medicine and Public Health Science, Wayne State University, “Epigenetic mediators of the obese intrauterine environment”


  • Xin Tong, M.D., PhD, Research Investigator, University of Michigan, “Regulation of lipid metabolism by DDB1-CUL4A E3 ligase in liver steatosis”
  • Jun Li, PhD, Assistant Professor, Human Genetics, University of Michigan, “Genetic analysis of a rat model of aerobic capacity and diabetes risk”
  • Atta Ahmad, PhD, Research Investigator, Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan, “Examining the role of chaperones in insulin quality control and its relation to type II diabetes”
  • Diane M. Robins, PhD, Professor, Human Genetics, University of Michigan, “KRAB-ZFPs as genetic modifiers of sex-dependent metabolic disease”
  • Anuska V. Andjelkovic-Zochowska, MD, PhD, University of Michigan, Assistant Professor, Pathology, “Blood brain barrier dysfunction in diabetes: The role of miRNA 126 in regulation of blood brain barrier integrity”
  • Gina M. Leinninger, PhD, Assistant Professor, Physiology, Michigan State University, “Role of lateral hypothalamic neurotensin signaling in energy balance and obesity”
  • Xuequn Chen, PhD, Assistant Professor, Physiology, Wayne State University, “Quantitative proteomic analysis of altered ER homeostasis in pancreatic beta cells”
  • Anne-Marie Rosland, MD, Assistant Professor, General Medicine, Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, was awarded the MCDTR award for “Reducing diabetes risk by supporting patients' informal caregivers through clinical interactions and technology”


  • Tae-Hwa Chun, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine-MEND, “Peri-adipocyte fibrosis and adipocyte dysfunction in diabetes”
  • James Wrobel, DPM, Clinical Associate Professor, Internal Medicine-MEND, “Multi-material, layer, and density approach to shear and pressure reduction in the treatment and prevention of diabetes-related foot ulcer”
  • Jeffrey B. Hodgin, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pathology, “Deep sequencing of the podocyte transcriptome in diabetic and hypertensive mice”
  • David S. Olson, MD, PhD, Clinical Instructor, Pediatrics, Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, “Translational profiling of neurons involved in feeding”
  • Deneen Wellik, PhD, Associate Professor of Internal Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology, “The role of Hox6 genes in the pancreatic niche”
  • Menq-Jer Lee, PhD, Associate Professor, Pathology, Wayne State University, “Role of lipolysis activated autocrine sphingosine-1-phosphate signaling in adipocyte function”


  • Roseanne Armitage, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry, “Measurement of sleep physiology in obese and type 2 diabetic patients”
  • Markus Bitzer, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology, “The role of microRNA-21 in diabetic nephropathy”
  • Christopher Krebs, PhD, Research Investigator, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Human Genetics, “Distinguishing the mouse RsI genes as genetic modifiers of hepatic insulin sensitivity”
  • David Lombard, M.D., PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, Research Assistant Professor, Institute of Gerontology, “Novel mechanisms of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex regulation”
  • Lei Yin, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, “Circadian regulation of AMPK signaling and glucose metabolism by the transcription repressor E4BP4 “


  • Munmum Chattopadhyay, PhD, Research Investigator, Department of Neurology, “Role of neuroinflammation in painful neuropathy in Type 2 diabetes”
  • Alla Karnovsky, PhD, Research Investigator, Center for Computational Medicine & Bioinformatics. “Development and application of bioinformatics tools for metabolomics and diabetes”
  • Joyce Lee, M.D., MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Endocrinology “The Pediatric Diabetes Consortium (PDC): Improving care in children with type 1 diabetes through collaborative research”
  • Sung Kyun Park, ScD, MPH, Assistant Professor, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, “Bisphenol-A, epigenetics and type-2 diabetes”
  • Scott Pletcher, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology and Geriatrics, “Identification of novel mechanisms of metabolic homeostasis in Drosophila”
  • Bin Xu, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Internal Medicine, “Novel function of the RNA activator SRA in adipogenesis”


  • Peter Dempsey, PhD, Associate Professor, Pediatric Gastroenterology, "Role of ErbB4 receptor signaling in the Central Regulation of Energy Metabolism"
  • Carey Lumeng, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Pediatrics, “Depot-specific differences in adipose tissue macrophages “Michigan macrophages in adipose tissue”
  • Sandeep Pandit, PhD, Professor, Internal Medicine-Cardiology, “Arrhythmogenesis in type-1 diabetes”
  • Rodica Pop-Busui, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, “Stress induced hyperglycemia: A predictor of long-term glucose abnormalities in patients undergoing cardiovascular surgery?”
  • Bhumsoo Kim, PhD, Research Assistant Professor, Neurology, “Animal models of increased Alzheimer's disease progression with diabetic background”


  • Maria Dolors Sans Gili, PhD, Assistant Professor, Molecular and Integrative Physiology, “Insulin, diabetes and the regulation of pancreatic digestive enzymes”
  • Ming Liu, M.D., PhD, Research Investigator, Internal Medicine, “Dominant negative effects of misfolded proinsulin in pancreatic beta cells”
  • Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy, PhD, Associate Professor of Chemistry, “Solid-state NMR studies on human islet amyloid polypeptide and its role in beta-cell membrane disruption”
  • Allison Rosen, MD, MPH, ScD, Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine and Health Management and Policy Clinical Director, Center for Value-Based Insurance Design, “Trends in the cost of diabetes care in the United States: 1996-2004”


  • Patrick J. Hu, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor, Internal Medicine, “A novel endocrine pathway regulating insulin-like signaling in C. elegans
  • Jiandie Lin, PhD, Assistant Professor of Cell & Developmental Biology and Life Sciences Institute, “Genome-wide analysis of transcription factors in the regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis by PGC-1α”
  • Julie C. Lumeng, MD, Assistant Research Scientist and Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, “Factors impacting maternal beliefs and feeding practices in mothers of low-income African American Preschoolers”
  • Heike Muenzberg, PhD, Research Investigator, Internal Medicine, “Leptin signaling in the DMH and its role in feeding circuits”
  • Subramaniam Pennathur, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, “Molecular mechanisms of pancreatic β-cell failure in vivo