Research areas and methodologies

The Endocrinology and Diabetology unit boasts long experience in the field of diabetology, endocrinology and metabolic diseases and bone metabolism. Professor Pozzilli, a globally recognized expert in the field of diabetes, founded and currently heads the unit. The Bio-Medico Campus of Rome identifies itself as a center of excellence for care and research in the diabetes field and as one of the largest clinical and research entities in Italy. The Endocrinology and Diabetology Unit is distingue also as one of the leading centers in clinical and translational research on bone metabolism and fragility fractures. Our group works closely with scientists, community groups, governmental and non-governmental health organizations on collaborative research programs. Our research focuses mainly on type 1 and type 2 diabetes, bone and thyroid metabolism and calcium-phosphorus metabolism with attention to obesity and metabolic syndrome. Particular attention is paid to phase II and III clinical trials both in spontaneous studies and in studies undertaken in collaboration with the main pharmaceutical industries (our Ethics Committee is approved by the FWA). Within the scope restricted to basic research, our Area mainly deals with the following aspects:

  • Pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes and protection of residual β-cell function: intervention studies in early stages of type 1 diabetes with immunomodulatory therapies to protect residual β-cell function.
  • Biomarkers for type 1 diabetes pathogenesis and early diagnosis of vascular and bone complications (OxIDIA): Study to test the potential of ox-PTM-INS and ox-PTM-INS antibody as biomarkers of type 1 diabetes along the entire disease continuum (prediction, progression and complications).
  • Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA): The focus is on epidemiological, genetic, immunological and innovative therapeutic approaches for this form of diabetes.
  • Research activity on bone metabolism: The main objective of this line of research is to investigate the clinical characteristics and risk factors of bone fragility in patients affected by osteoporosis, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, obesity and bone tumor complications. We are also interested in the relationship between the Wnt pathway, inflammation and bone health. This research activity is divided into three distinct strands: Animal Models; Translational Research; Clinical studies.
  • Diabetes and cardiovascular complications: focus of research on early markers of vascular damage in diabetes, attention is also directed to the identification of diabetic patients with autonomic cardioneuropathy.
  • Technology and Diabetes: the area is a reference for what concerns the application of new technologies for the management of diabetes and metabolic diseases with particular attention to the use of new insulin pumps and non-invasive glucose monitoring systems.
  • Mineral metabolism: in the field of research on mineral metabolism, our unit has conducted studies on chronic post-surgical hypoparathyroidism and primary normocalcemic hyperparathyroidism.
  • Thyroid: the research unit is conducting studies on the efficacy of thyroid thermoablation and on the pathogenesis/advanced diagnosis of differentiated thyroid tumors using core biopsy and Raman technology.

Collaborations with other Research Centers

  • Center for Immunology, St. Bartholomew's and The London School of Medicine, Queen Mary's College, London, UK
  • Center for Biochemical Pharmacology, St. Bartholomew's and The London School of Medicine, Queen Mary's College, London, UK
  • University of Ulm, Germany
  • washington University, St. Louis, USA
  • Hadassah Diabetes Center-HDC, Jerusalem, Israel
  • University of Craiova, Romania
  • University of Harvard, Boston, USA
  • Department of Clinical Sciences and Experimental Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome
  • Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital-IRCCS, Rome
  • University of Rome Foro Italico
  • Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Rome
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • Columbia University, New York
  • Galeazzi Hospital, Milan
  • Linköping University, Linkoping
  • Cardiff University, Cardiff


Laboratory of Diabetology and Endocrinology

  • Clinical trials in the treatment of type 1 diabetes and LADA (autoimmune diabetes in adults) through early diagnosis and a combination of genetic, immunological and mathematical techniques
  • Evaluation of the isolation and characterization of stem cells from adipose tissue for future clinical applications
  • Epidemiology and pathophysiology of obesity and diabetes (Study of the role of post-translational modifications of self-antigens induced by oxygen radicals in the induction of autoimmunity in type 1 diabetes; Study on the effect of PPAR-receptor agonist substances gamma; Evaluation of bone quality and “WNT signaling” in obese and diabetic patients; Vitamin D and endothelium; The adipokines pro-granulin and adiponectin as a common denominator between Alzheimer's and type 2 diabetes; Evaluation of the b-cell response (GIP and GLP-1), in healthy subjects after glucagon test and after mixed meal (MMTT)).

The technological equipment in our possession includes:

  • A chemical hood
  • A double laminar flow hood for cell culture
  • A refrigerated centrifuge
  • A thermostatic bathroom
  • A magnetic separator
  • An automatic cell counter
  • An apparatus for vertical electrophoresis
  • A hypercassette for immunodetection
  • A microcentrifuge