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Endocrinology and Diabetes

More than 29 million Americans of all ages live with diabetes. This common condition caused by the body’s inability to produce enough insulin or use it well can lead to serious health problems and decreased quality of life for many individuals. Diabetes’ increasing prevalence has become one of the public health issues of our times. In fact, in 2015 President Obama highlighted it as one of the diseases that personalized medicine has the potential to someday treat and cure.

NorthShore investigators have launched novel clinical trials to examine the DNA architecture that underlies all forms of diabetes. By understanding an individual’s condition based on genetic makeup, we can better personalize treatment for a disorder that is now treated with a one-size-fits all approach.

Our team is committed to pioneering innovative research opportunities in the field of diabetes and endocrinology. Some of the exciting diabetes projects underway at NorthShore include:


A rare form of diabetes, Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY) usually appears in people under the age of 40. While only affecting up to 4 percent of individuals with diabetes, MODY is misclassified about 80 percent of the time as either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. This diagnosis can result in patients being started on insulin and other therapies, which may not be the optimal therapy for treating MODY. People with certain MODY mutations such as in the HNF1A or HNF4A genes may be able to successfully control their condition with oral anti-diabetes medications rather than insulin injections. In the case of GCK mutations, often no treatment at all is required except during pregnancy.

Using NorthShore’s sophisticated electronic medical record (EMR) system, our investigators hope to identify individuals with clinical characteristics that fit the criteria for MODY. Our team plans to contact those who may have or are at high-risk for MODY and offer genetic testing. Findings from this clinical study have the potential to vastly improve diabetes diagnosis and treatment for our patients and community.

For more information on diabetes and endocrinology, or about participating in this study, please call 847.663.8510 or email


Not all oral medications for controlling Type II, or adult-onset, diabetes work well for all people. Advancing the area of pharmacogenomics, NorthShore researchers are studying how genetics affect response to the drug metformin, a standard medication prescribed for anti-diabetes treatment.

As part of this study, investigators will analyze participants’ clinical data along with DNA information taken from one blood sample.

For more information on personalized medicine for diabetes or about participating in this study, please call 847.663.8510 or email