Dr. Lawrence J. Mandarino to Head new UA Center for Disparities in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism

Lawrence J. Mandarino, PhD, has been appointed to lead the new UA Center for Disparities in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism at the University of Arizona Health Sciences. Dr. Mandarino also will serve as chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism in the Department of Medicine at the UA College of Medicine – Tucson.

Dr. Mandarino comes to the UA from Arizona State University where he has served as director of the Center for Metabolic Biology and director of the Mayo/ASU Center for Metabolic and Vascular Biology at Mayo Clinic Arizona. Dr. Mandarino previously spent more than 12 years at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in the Departments of Medicine, Biochemistry and Physiology. He has held faculty appointments at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of California, San Diego, after performing a postdoctoral fellowship in endocrinology at the Mayo Clinic.

 “I am extremely pleased to welcome Dr. Mandarino to the UA Health Sciences in these important leadership roles,” said Joe G.N. “Skip” Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences. “As an established scientist with an outstanding record of NIH-funded research and multidisciplinary program building, he will serve as a key enterprise leader in our efforts to advance translational research in diabetes, obesity and endocrine diseases,” Dr. Garcia added.

“We are very excited about Dr. Mandarino serving as the new chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism,” said Monica Kraft, MD, chair of the UA Department of Medicine and the Robert and Irene Flinn Endowed Professor of Medicine. “He will greatly enhance our research efforts in endocrine and metabolic disorders, extremely important areas of focus for a state where one in nine people suffer from diabetes and where Hispanic, Native Americans and African Americans are twice as likely to have Type 2 diabetes. We hope to make a significant impact in reducing the nearly 10,000 hospitalizations a year due to diabetes-related causes in Arizona,” said Dr. Kraft.

Former division chief, Craig Stump, MD, PhD, remains as clinical chief for the division and he and Dr. Mandarino will work closely together to expand research into endocrine and metabolic disorders here, Dr. Kraft added.

“It is a great pleasure and honor to join the UA Health Sciences to lead the development of the new Center,” said Dr. Mandarino. “I look forward to working with the UAHS campuses in Tucson and Phoenix as well as with other research and clinical institutions across the state to facilitate the discovery of basic mechanisms of diabetes, obesity and metabolic disease and to provide the framework to facilitate the translation of evidence-based diabetes prevention and treatment practices into proven health solutions.”

The new UA Center for Disparities in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism will serve as a nucleus for interdisciplinary research that forms the foundation for advanced, evidence-based clinical care. A major focus of the center will be innovative approaches to delivery of care and prevention, serving a diverse population in one of the most high-risk yet underserved regions in the nation.

Dr. Mandarino’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health for more than 25 years. Currently, he is principal investigator on two studies with grant funding totaling more than $5 million. His research interests include the mechanisms of insulin resistance in skeletal muscle and liver and the mechanisms of fatty liver development. His research is aimed at providing new targets for treating insulin resistance syndrome – sometimes referred to as metabolic syndrome – which increases the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other cardiometabolic conditions, all areas of special concern in the Latino population. In 2009, he received the American Diabetes Association’s Cure Award, presented to a key researcher who is engaged in basic or clinical research focusing on the treatment, cure or prevention of diabetes and its complications.

An active supporter of the training of physician-scientists and biomedical researchers, he has mentored many post-doctoral and medical research fellows and graduate and undergraduate students. He has more than 140 articles published in peer-reviewed journals. He has been associate editor of Diabetes; a reviewer for Diabetes Care, Diabetologia, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Journal of Clinical Investigation, and Metabolism; and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Proteome Research. His professional memberships include the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, American College of Sports Medicine, American Federation for Clinical Research, American Physiological Society and American Diabetes Association.

Dr. Mandarino earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at ASU. After earning his doctorate in 1978, he joined the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., where he was a senior research fellow and also an assistant professor at Mayo Medical School. He then joined the faculty of the University of California, San Diego, in the Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, and was core laboratory director of the General Clinical Research Center. From 1987 to 1992, he was assistant professor in the Departments of Ophthalmology and Physiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He then served as associate professor in the Departments of Medicine, Biochemistry and Physiology and as professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Diabetes, at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

In 2005, he joined ASU as professor and chair of the Department of Kinesiology and founding director of the Center for Metabolic Biology, which brings together basic scientists and physician-investigators to understand the mechanisms involved in the development of insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease. In 2010, ASU and Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale partnered to create the Mayo/ASU Center for Metabolic and Vascular Biology, to combat obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and other related conditions, and Dr. Mandarino was appointed director.

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences
The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs almost 5,000 people, has nearly 1,000 faculty members and garners more than $126 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: http://uahs.arizona.edu

Release Date: 
04/12/2016 - 3:15am
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