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For 35 years, the Michigan Diabetes Research & Training Center (MDRTC) was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide seed money for early-stage diabetes research projects in U-M laboratories and clinics, to train scientists in diabetes research, and to operate core shared scientific facilities. Our U-M site was one of only seven NIH-designated diabetes centers in the country and it served hundreds of researchers in its mission.

In late 2010, NIH announced that it would change the DRTC program and, instead, fund two separate centers, rather than integrated DRTCs: Centers for Diabetes Translational Research (CDTRs) and Diabetes Research Centers (DRCs). We were able to obtain grants for both centers.



William H. Herman
M.D., M.P.H.

William Herman, MD, MPH, the director of the MDRTC and Stefan S. Fajans/GlaxoSmithKline Professor of Diabetes in the MEND Division, applied to create Michigan’s CDTR in 2011. After receiving a rare perfect score on his application, the MCDTR was established with a five-year grant. Dr. Herman is director of the center and John D. Piette, Ph.D., Professor of Internal Medicine, is associate director.

The CDTR program is designed to translate interventions and approaches that have clearly demonstrated efficacy into real world health care settings, communities, and populations at risk. The program's goal is to enhance scientific progress and improve the uptake of interventions to prevent and improve the treatment of diabetes (type 1, type 2 and gestational) and related conditions. The focus of the CDTR and their cores is to support type 2 translational research.

The MCDTR offers three scientific cores: (1) the Methods and Measurement Core, which is focused on design and analysis issues in translational research (including health economics), (2) the Intervention and Technology Research Core, which is focused on technology-based approaches to intervention delivery, health communication, patient empowerment and peer support, and (3) the Community Outreach and Engagement Core, which facilitates community engagement, intervention implementation, and dissemination with a special focus on cultural competence, health disparities, and community-based participatory research.



martin myers md phdMartin Myers
M.D., Ph.D.

Martin Myers Jr., MD, PhD, Marilyn H. Vincent Professor of Diabetes Research in the MEND Division, and Christin Carter-Su, PhD, Henry Sewall Collegiate Professor in Physiology, submitted an application for our DRC in the first half of 2012. With funding approval delayed until after the federal sequestration was determined, the DRC grant was approved in early 2013. Dr. Myers is the DRC’s director and Dr. Carter-Su is assistant director.

The MDRC focuses on the biomedical and clinical research related to diabetes, its complications, and related endocrine and metabolic disorders. The goal of the MDRC is to establish, promote, and enhance multidisciplinary and collaborative basic biomedical and clinical research among member investigators studying diabetes, its complications, and related endocrine and metabolic disorders. The missions of the MDRC are to create an environment that supports important and innovative research; raise awareness and interest in fundamental and clinical diabetes research; enhance diabetes research education and training opportunities for patients, students, scientists, and clinicians; attract and retain early stage investigators and investigators new to diabetes research; provide core services that leverage funding and unique expertise; foster interdisciplinary collaborations, especially in the emerging areas of research, to catalyze new ideas and scientific approaches; and promote the translation of scientific discoveries from bench to bedside to community to improve public health.

The MDRC also provides funding for the following core laboratories to support biomedical and translational research and patient and physician education activities: Administration Core, Animal Phenotyping, Chemistry Laboratory, Clinical Core, Morphology & Image Analysis, and Proteomics.


Regional Reach

In addition, the NIH offered additional funds to CDTRs and DRCs that serve as regional centers. Both the MCDTR and the MDRC applied for, and are functioning as, regional centers. They have opened their cores to funded investigators at Michigan State University, University of Toledo, and Wayne State University and will partner with these other institutions to provide core services, as well as opening their pilot and feasibility programs to investigators at these other institutions.

For more information about the MCDTR:

For more on the MDRC: