Boston Area Diabetes Endocrinology Research Center

The Boston Area Diabetes Endocrinology Research Center (BADERC) is a consortium of laboratory-based and clinical investigators whose efforts are directed toward addressing many of the major research questions bearing on the etiology, pathogenesis, treatment and cure of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and their associated microvascular and atherosclerotic complications.

The BADERC Director (Jose C. Florez) and Associate Directors (Barbara Kahn and Alexander Soukas) are highly productive senior investigators of international stature in human genetics and pharmacogenomics, metabolic physiology, nutrient homeostasis, molecular genetics and functional genomics, topics central to advances in diabetes research.

The BADERC Executive Committee that oversees and advises on major directions of the BADERC including Cores, Pilot and Feasibility Program, Enrichment Program, and efforts at diversity and inclusion, draws upon the diverse expertise of the greater Boston Area Diabetes research community and includes Dr. Alex Banks (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center), Co-Director of the Metabolic Physiology and Energy Balance Core; Dr. Caroline Apovian (Brigham and Women’s Hospital), Dr. Sudha Biddinger (Boston Children’s Hospital); Dr. Valentina Perissi (Boston University Medical Center); our inaugural Diversity and Inclusion Officer Dr. Camille Powe (Massachusetts General Hospital); as well as Drs. Florez, Kahn and Soukas.

The BADERC Research Core Subcommittee is chaired by Dr. Alex Banks, and consists of the Center Director (Dr. Jose Florez), Center Administrator (Nancy Kingori), the Biomedical Research Core Directors (Dr. Dennis Brown, Cell Biology/Morphology; Dr. Brad Lowell, Transgenic Animals; Dr. Barbara Kahn, Metabolic Physiology; Dr. Evan Rosen, Bioinformatics; and Dr. David Nathan, Clinical). This Subcommittee makes general, administrative and scientific decisions concerning the operation and overall direction of the BADERC Biomedical Research Cores.

The BADERC Member Scientists host robust research groups based at a large number of Boston-area research institutions, primarily the major Harvard Medical School-affiliated teaching hospitals (the Massachusetts General Hospital, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Beth Israel-Deaconess Medical Center) and the Boston University Medical Center, as well as several at the Harvard School of Arts and Sciences and other Harvard-affiliated research institutions (the Broad Institute, Harvard School of Public Health, the Dana-Farber Cancer Center, the Scheppens Eye Research Institute), the New England Medical Center and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

These investigators are working at the cutting edge of fields most relevant to defining the pathogenesis and optimal treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes: The molecular and genetic basis of insulin action and insulin resistance; the genetic underpinnings for glucose and nutrient homeostasis; the biology of the vascular system and beta cell; the immunologic basis and optimal therapies for autoimmunity and transplant rejection; the development of new methods for glycemic monitoring and control.

 BADERC Cores:
The BADERC offers these scientists an array of core support services:

– Cell Biology & Morphology
– Transgenic
– Molecular Physiology and Energy Balance
– Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics*
– BADERC Clinical Research Core*

These 5 cores, two of which (*) are newly added to the BADERC as of 2021, incorporate the latest technical advances in the full spectrum of diabetes-related research from fundamental preclinical to translational to clinical studies. State-of-the-art services are provided by acknowledged experts in each BADERC Core.

Most cores are heavily oriented towards simultaneous provision of i) high quality services and ii) hands-on training. Considerable expansion and upgrading of existing, heavily used Cores have occurred over the prior award period, including adding new capability based upon emerging technologies and addition of methodologies to ensure rigor and reproducibility in diabetes research. Two new cores have been added: the Functional Genomics and Bioinformatics Core, and the BADERC Clinical Research Core. Both new cores are poised to service both laboratory-based and clinical investigators.

BADERC Pilot and Feasibility Grant Program:
The BADERC also sponsors a highly competitive program of pilot and feasibility grants. This flagship endeavor of the BADERC has spawned the careers of multiple leaders in diabetes and related disciplines (see Pilot and Feasibility Awardees). The availability of cost effective support services of outstanding quality together with the educational and pilot grants program has catalyzed new programs and collaborations, and attracted to diabetes research new talent from this outstanding scientific community. A goal of the center to foster the closest interactions between the laboratory based and clinical scientists, so as to ensure the translation of research discoveries into advances in the care of diabetic patients.

BADERC Enrichment Program:
The BADERC brings together diverse scientific expertise under one umbrella, presenting a unique opportunity for our members to cross-fertilize and collaborate. One keystone effort to catalyze collaboration and interaction, is the Enrichment Program, which has a number of opportunities for learning and interaction, including BADERC research seminars at member institutions including MGH, BWH/CH, BIDMC, and the Broad Institute; a centralized electronic billboard of all diabetes-related events in the Boston Area; Core Fairs, where Directors of the BADERC Cores present on capabilities of their Core, examples of successful projects, and how to engage each Core in a direct collaboration, the BADERC Annual Retreat which includes a keynote address, talks from successfully completed Pilot and Feasibility Projects, and a poster session, and the quarterly BADERC Newsletter.