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USF Diabetes Program


At the University of South Florida, we are primarily focused on the treatment, prevention, and eventual cure of type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). T1DM develops when the immune system specifically eliminates pancreatic beta cells, the only cells that produce the hormone insulin necessary for the regulation of blood sugar. To survive, people with type 1 diabetes must have insulin delivered by injection or a pump.  This is a devastating and complex disease that has yet to be completely characterized.

Approximately 1 million Americans currently have T1DM, with 10,000 new cases every year. T1DM is the most common metabolic disease of childhood, with a yearly incidence of 15 cases per 100,000 people younger than 18 years. About one in every 400-600 children and adolescents has been diagnosed with T1DM.

To investigate this complex disease, we have taken an interdisciplinary approach that encompasses the following:

  • Epidemiological studies to identify the causative agents necessary for diabetes onset.
  • Delivery of premier patient care and education.
  • Basic science research directed at the identification of the causative molecular mechanisms of T1D

Each of the above directed focus areas are investigated by the Pediatric Epidemiology Center, Morsani Diabetes Center, and the Department of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology.


Multidisciplinary Efforts of the USF Diabetes Program

Diabetes Centerhealth


The USF Diabetes Center is located on the 5th floor of The Morsani Center for Advanced Healthcare on 13330 Laurel Dr. and has a comprehenisve team of health care professionals including pediatric and adult endocrinologists (diabetes specialists), nurse practitioners, certified diabetes educators, a clinical dietitian and a clinical psychologist. The goal of the diabetes center is to serve as a catalyst for innovative and important research building upon active program development  in clinical, basic, and translational research.

Clinical care services include:

  • Outpatient Consultation and Management of New-Onset Diabetes
  • Outpatient Follow-up for Intensified Insulin Therapy
  • Insulin Pump Management and Training
  • Medical Nutrition Therapy
  • Diagnostic / Therapeutic Continuous Glucose Monitoring
  • Adult and Child Health Psychology

More information can be found at:  USF Morsani Center

Basic Science Research

The primary long-term objective of our laboratory is to identify and elucidate molecular mechanisms involved in the initiation and onset of type 1 diabetes.  The basic science research laboratory is located in the Biomedical Science Facility in rooms 238 and 240.  Our laboratory contains a vast array of equipment to utilizing the latest techniques to characterize some of the molecular mechanisms of type 1 diabetes.  These include Luminex Multiplexing Technology, Realtime-Taqman PCR, Western Analysis, ELISA, and other standard molecular biology techniques.   In addition, we have active murine models located in the Stabile Vivarium at the Moffitt Cancer Center.  

More information can be found at:  Laboratory of Brant Burkhardt, Ph.D.

Pediatric Epidemiology Center

The Pediatric Epidemiology Center is located on 3650 Spectrum Blvd. Suite 100 on the Tampa Bay campus and is comprised of a diverse team with expertise in biostatistics, epidemiology, health informatics, computer science, genetics, nutrition, public health, clinical trials, and health services research. With strong funding from the NIH, DoD, and other sources, this center provides the technical means to facilitate interaction and contributions in knowledge between physicians and patients nationally and internationally. By strengthening this vital network, we can work to improve research on many different types of diseases one of which is type 1 diabetes (T1D).  We currently have several ongoing T1D projects that are either interventional or observational.  These include The Environmental of Determinants of Diabetes in the Young (TEDDY), and The Trial to Reduce IDDM in the Genetically at Risk (TRIGR).  

More information can be found at: USF Diabetes - Epidemiological Studies