Read a Q+A with Dr. Richard N. Bergman, PhD, about the Cedars-Sinai Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute and his work with the Islet Sheet Project. (PDF download)

Researcher at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Dr. Marilyn Ader

Read the press release about Richard Bergman's appointment to head the new Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.


Cedars-Sinai Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute, Los Angeles

Large-animal studies for the Islet Sheet Project will take place at the Cedars-Sinai Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute, part of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, under the leadership of Professor Richard Bergman.

With more than 900 research projects, Cedars-Sinai ranks among the nation’s top independent academic medical centers. Cedars-Sinai focuses on biomedical research and technologically advanced medical education—based on an interdisciplinary collaboration between physicians and clinical researchers.

“Now we have the benefit of working directly with this diabetes pioneer.”

— Scott R. King, Islet Sheet Medical

Richard N. Bergman, PhD

In June 2011, Richard N. Bergman, PhD, an internationally renowned expert in diabetes and obesity research, was named director of the Cedars-Sinai Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute. Bergman also joined Cedars-Sinai’s Department of Biomedical Sciences and its Department of Medicine as a distinguished research scientist.

Previously Bergman spent three decades at the University of Southern California, where he served as the Keck Professor of Medicine and chair of the Department of Physiology and Biophysics, as well as professor of medicine and biomedical engineering at USC’s Keck School of Medicine.

An influential diabetes researcher for more than three decades, with more than 300 peer-reviewed published papers, Bergman pioneered the use of engineering principles to understand mechanisms that lead to development of diabetes. He developed the “minimal model,” which describes how insulin functions in the body and is the standard for determining causes of diabetes. Clinical testing using this model is now the most powerful predictor of future development of type 2 diabetes.

Among numerous honors and awards over the course of his career, Bergman has received the Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement and the Man of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award, both from the American Diabetes Association; the NIH Merit Award; and the Lilly Award as Outstanding Researcher in Diabetes.

“Bergman showed that the way a healthy mammal disposes of a glucose load is remarkably simple, and can be modeled using only three parameters: insulin level, insulin sensitivity, and glucose sensitivity,” says Scott King of Islet Medical. “We have incorporated his principles into our work on the Islet Sheet, on which he has served as an advisor for many years. Now we have the benefit of working directly with this diabetes pioneer.”

Marilyn Ader, PhD

Accompanying Dr. Bergman on his move from USC to Cedars-Sinai is Marilyn Ader, now associate director of the Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute. She had been associate professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at University of Southern California, where she studied physiology and biophysics.

While at USC, Ader led a groundbreaking study of the effects of certain antipsychotic drugs in children. Their study, published in the journal Diabetes, noted that these drugs can have serious side effects, impairing pancreas function and leading to obesity. Ader was awarded a five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to further study risk factors for this group of antipsychotic drugs.