David Nathan, MD

Institution: Massachusetts General Hospital
Research: Clinical Research in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
Grants & Publications: Harvard Catalyst
Categories: MGH

Dr. Nathan directs the MGH Diabetes Center, which provides clinical care to patients with diabetes and focuses on the development and evaluation of innovative therapies for type 1 and type 2 diabetes and their complications. Dr. Nathan and the Diabetes Center have played a leadership role in the conduct of numerous NIH and Foundation supported multi-center trials that have defined modern-day diabetes prevention and treatment. These include: the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) and its ongoing follow-up study, the Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC) study, which demonstrated the primacy of intensive metabolic control in preventing the development of complications in Type 1 diabetes; the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) and DPP Outcomes Study (DPPOS) which established the means of preventing Type 2 diabetes; the Look AHEAD study which examined the role of a lifestyle intervention as a means of preventing heart disease in type 2 diabetes; the Immune Tolerance Network Study which explored islet transplantation as a treatment of type 1 diabetes; the TODAY study, exploring the treatments of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents; the A1c-Derived Average Glucose Study (ADAG) which established the definitive translation of HbA1c into average glucose levels; and most recently GRADE, a comprehensive comparative effectiveness study of type 2 diabetes therapies. Dr. Nathan chairs (or chaired) DCCT/EDIC, DPP/DPPOS, ADAG and GRADE. Other current single center studies have promoted the translation of laboratory results into new therapies, such as the development of GLP-1 receptor agonist class of drugs and new techniques for islet transplantation, the development of an artificial pancreas for the treatment of type 1 diabetes, the immune basis of type 1 diabetes, cardiovascular disease prevention, and means of optimizing the care of type 2 diabetes by primary care practitioners. Epidemiological studies in collaboration with the Framingham Heart Study, Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, and Nurses and Physicians Health Studies have explored the risk factors of diabetes and its complications and in particular the relationship between
glycemia and heart disease. A host of genetics and pharmacogenetic and quality improvement studies are also ongoing.