Diabetes: NICHD Research Goals

The NICHD studies diabetes, including gestational diabetes, within the context of preventing and managing chronic disease and its long-term health effects, and of understanding the developmental origins of health and disease.

Some of the Institute’s diabetes research addresses these important goals:

  • Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM):
    • Investigating treatments that can prevent or slow the onset of T1DM in those at high risk for the condition, including infants at high genetic risk
    • Testing non-invasive ways to monitor children with T1DM for episodes of hypoglycemia
    • Investigating a combination insulin-delivery and glucose-sensing system that can mimic normal pancreatic beta-cell function
    • Understanding the genetic risk factors that lead to T1DM and detecting the earliest gene-expression changes in those genetically at high risk for the condition
    • Identifying determinants of health outcomes and testing the efficacy of behavioral intervention for youth with T1DM and their families
  • Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM):
    • Defining and reversing metabolic risk factors early in development that contribute to T2DM
    • Identifying the genetic risk factors for T2DM and exploring treatments to prevent or stop its onset in those who are at high genetic risk
    • Exploring the relationship between normal development, factors in the environment, and T2DM
    • Understanding disparities in the prevalence and course of T2DM, its precursors, and its associated outcomes
  • Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM):
    • Understanding the mechanisms of GDM
    • Defining treatments and management parameters that improve health outcomes for mother and baby
    • Identifying biomarkers that might indicate GDM and complications such as preeclampsia
    • Examining the health effects on the baby both in the short- and long-term
    • Investigating ways to improve and manage delivery of macrosomic infants
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