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University of Colorado Denver

 

Dana Dabelea, MD, PhD 

Associate Dean for Faculty, Director of the LEAD center, and Conrad M. Riley Endowed Professor


Biography:
For nearly 20 years, Dr. Dabelea has focused on the rising rate of type 2 diabetes in youth, and is the author of one of the first papers to highlight this trend. Originally from Romania, she trained as a physician diabetologist, completed a clinical science PhD, and then went on to spend two years of postdoctoral studies at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) where she focused on diabetes research among the Pima Indians. It was there that she became interested in the rising rates of type 2 diabetes, particularly in youth. Dr. Dabelea’s research looking at diabetes during pregnancy led her to believe that a life course approach to diabetes with a specific focus on pediatric diabetes, could increase the likelihood of identifying early risk factors for the disease, as well as its progression, before chronic complications can develop.

 Research Interests:

  • ​Chronic Disease Epidemiology
  • Pediatric Diabetes
  • Insulin Resistance & Obesity
  • Life-course Epidemiology
  • Developmental Origins of Chronic Diseases

Courses Taught:
  • ​EPID 6630: Epidemiology
  • EPID 7911: Epidemiologic Field Methods
  • EPID 7912: Developing a Research Grant
  • EPID 8990: Doctoral Thesis
Current Research Projects:
  •  NIDDK: Healthy Start Study (12/06-7/19, Principal Investigator): A longitudinal pre-birth cohort study of 1400 mother-child dyads to assess the role of in utero and early life exposures on childhood obesity and related outcomes.  
  • NIH: ECCHO (9/14-8/18, Principal Investigator): This study tracks fetal exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals in utero that are known to be associated with the development of obesity-related outcomes in offspring.
  • NIH: Epigenetic Markers of Gestational Diabetes (7/14-6/17, Principal Investigator): A study to track the epigenetic markers of gestational diabetes.
  •  NIH: Exploring Perinatal Outcomes among CHildren (EPOCH) (7/04-6/16, Principal Investigator): A longitudinal study of adolescents and their long-term health outcomes related to whether they were exposed to maternal gestational diabetes.
  • CDC/NIDDK: SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth, Colorado Center (9/00-6/15, Principal Investigator): SEARCH is conducting surveillance of diabetes in youth age up to 20 years to assess trends in the incidence of diabetes by type, race/ethnicity, and sex. It also includes a longitudinal cohort component to understand the metabolic, behavioral and socio-economic determinants of sub-clinical chronic diabetes complications.
  • NIDDK: Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study (DPPOS) (8/94-3/15, Principal Investigator): A landmark trial to show that lifestyle changes or the metformin drug can effectively delay diabetes in overweight or obese American adults.
  • NIH: Tribal Turning Point (5/13-4/14, Principal Investigator): This study explored a culturally-appropriate behavioral intervention to prevent type 2 diabetes in American Indian Youth.
  • National Children's Study (9/08-9/13, Study Center Principal Investigator): This study was aimed at developing a large, population-based cohort of 100,000 children recruited before birth and followed up through 21 years of age. 
Education:
  • ​University of Medicine, Timisoara, Romania, MD, 1990
  • University of Medicine, Timisoara, Romania, Residency, Internal Medicine, 1991-94
  • University of Medicine, Timisoara, Romania, PhD, Clinical Sciences, 1997
  • University of Medicine Timisoara, Romania, Residency, Diabetes & Metabolic Diseases, 1994-97
  • NIDDK, Phoenix, AZ, Fellowship, Diabetes Epidemiology,
    1997-99
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