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Endocrinology - Research


The Section of Endocrinology is actively involved in research to further the understanding of endocrine problems in the developing child and to improve the diagnosis and care of these children. The primary areas of interest of faculty in the Section include:

  • Pathophysiology and psychosocial aspects of obesity and type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents. The Section of Endocrinology is a recognized leader in this area of interest. We are a national site for the TODAY and RISE studies
  • Insulin resistance and associated morbidity in obese children and adolescents
  • Developmental aspects of insulin resistance during puberty in children with and without diabetes
  • New approaches to screening for comorbidities in obese children and adolescents
  • Development of efficient and cost-effective approaches to endocrine diagnosis to replace older stimulation testing protocols
  • Hormone function, metabolic health, and neurodevelopment in children with X&Y chromosome variations, including Klinefelter and Turner syndromes
  • Hormonal abnormalities in survivors of childhood cancer and other chronic illnesses
  • Participation in drug trials to develop and implement new medications for children

​​Endocrinology Lab Photo


Faculty Research

Phil Zeitler, MD, PhD, Division head
Interests: Development and Progression of Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes

Kristen Nadeau, MD, MS​, Director of Research
Interests: Insulin resistance and Cardiovascular Disease in youth with type 1 and type 2 Diabetes, Bariatric Surgery in Youth with type 2 Diabetes

Megan Kelsey, MD, MS​
Interests: Insulin resistance in puberty, Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes, Bariatric Surgery in Youth with Type 2 Diabetes

Christine Chan, MD
Interests: Methods to assess hyperglycemia, Cystic Fibrosis related Diabetes

Melanie Cree-Green, MD, PhD
Interests: Insulin resistance, Hepatic steatosis and Cardiovascular Disease in youth with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Development of minimally invasive research methods

Stephanie Hsu, MD, PhD​
Interests: Assessing efficacy and side effects of current and new therapeutic options

Shanlee Davis, MD, MS
Interests: Sex steroids, Insulin resistance and Cardiovascular Disease in youth with sex chromosome variations, including Klinefelter syndrome and Turner Syndrome. Endocrine manifestations of genetic disorders

Natalie Nokoff, MD
Interests: Metabolic consequences of hormone treatment in transgender youth, Understanding psychological effects of disorders of sexual differentiation

Janine Higgins, PhD
Interests: Role of Nutritional interventions in obesity

Natalie Abramson, PhD
Interests: Effect of psychosocial dynamics on disease control in type 2 diabetes

Lauren Shoemaker, PhD, Joint faculty appointment with Colorado State University
Interests: Healthy habits and mood during pregnancy in adolescent girls, relationship between mood and insulin sensitivity in overweight girls

Jill Kaar, PhD
Interests: Effects of health behavior on obesity and complications of obesity

Cecilia Diniz Behn, PhD, Adjunct faculty, primary appointment with Colorado School of the Mines
Interests: Mathematical modeling of circadian rhythm disorders and tissue specific insulin sensitivity

Bradley Newcomer, PhD, Adjunct faculty, primary appointment with James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA
Interests: Assessing mitochondrial function and energy metabolism in muscle with MR spectroscopy


We also collaborate with pediatric specialists from the divisions of surgery, cardiology, pulmonary, gastroenterology, developmental pediatrics, neonatology, radiology and metabolics, and faculty in the internal medicine department, divisions of cardiology, endocrine and metabolism, geriatrics, and the department of radiology and psychiatry. In addition to our faculty, our pediatric endocrinology fellows all participate in research during their fellowship years. The department has several post-doctoral fellows, graduate and medical students who participate in research protocols. We accept summer students through the NIDDK program and the Children’s Hospital Colorado summer program, among others. Additionally, our professional research staff is highly trained in pediatric research, with advanced degrees/certification in nursing, diabetes education, nutrition, exercise science, and laboratory sciences.

The research at within the division of pediatric endocrinology benefits from the strong research environment at UC Denver, including dedicated outpatient and inpatient pediatric CTRC’s, and dedicated pediatric research nursing staff at the Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Additional Type 1 Diabetes research is performed through the Barbara Davis Center​.

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