Leaders in Treatment and Research

Cleveland Clinic’s Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute's unique model of care, which combines traditional medical endocrinology with bariatric surgery and cardiology, provides deep and broad expertise for the treatment and care of patients with diabetes. Our staff is dedicated to exploring ways to improve the care of these patients and to teaching the best methods for treating them. In recognition of our commitment to excellence, U.S. News and World Report recently named our diabetes and endocrinology services as No. 2 in the nation and the top program in Ohio.

For nearly a century, we have been at the forefront of innovations in diabetes care. In the mid 1920’s, the Cleveland Clinic’s Diabetes House pioneered insulin treatment for diabetes, and Madeline Bebout, an orphan, was the first child to get insulin in Cleveland. In 2012, a team comprised of surgeons, endocrinologists, and physiologists published a landmark study in the New England Journal of Medicine showing that bariatric surgery reverses diabetes. The effect on patients is immediate and independent of surgery-induced weight loss. Current innovations include the development of a bioartificial pancreas to eradicate the need for insulin injections in type 1 diabetes and the creation of mesenchymal stem cells for treatment of type 2 diabetes.

About MTRC

The Metabolic Translational Research Center (MTRC) is directed by John Kirwan, PhD. The Center was created by the leadership of the Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute (EMI) - James Young, MD, Phil Schauer, MD, Ned Kennedy, MD, and Alan Siperstein, MD, with the goal of providing a platform for multidisciplinary expertise to collaborate in addressing the problem of the increasing incidence of metabolic diseases in our population. The Center serves as a bridge between clinical research in EMI and basic research in the Lerner Research Institute (LRI). The MTRC provides support for unique metabolic measures and assists EMI investigators in the search for external research funding through individual and inter/intra institutional collaborative grants.

As we continue to investigate new and safer treatment options for obesity, diabetes, and endocrinopathies in our laboratories and clinics, there remains a considerable lag between the time discoveries are identified and the time they are incorporated into medical practice. As such, the MTRC seeks to improve our understanding of these diseases and to immediately enhance the options we can provide our patients as quickly and safely as possible. With a goal of maximizing and leveraging our resources to accelerate how we treat and prevent obesity and endocrine related disease, the MTRC will make this vision a reality by: strengthening the link between laboratory discoveries and patient care; addressing the underlying problems that contribute to obesity and diabetes through a newly developed collaboration with Case Western Reserve University to develop a citywide Nutrition Obesity Research Program; and by advancing our 2012 landmark study in bariatric surgery and diabetes reversal to discover how this effect is produced.

Leading the efforts of the Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute’s Translational Research Center are two renowned investigators dedicated to advancing endocrine and cardiometabolic research – James Young, MD and John P. Kirwan, MSc, PhD, FACSM. Their passion and knowledge of this important medical field make them uniquely qualified to lead this groundbreaking venture.

Dr. James Young is Professor of Medicine and Executive Dean at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University and is Chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute. He is also the Physician Director of the Philanthropy Institute and a medical director of the Kaufman Center for Heart Failure. He holds the George and Linda Kaufman Chair, is the Study Chairman of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Interagency Registry for Mechanical Circulatory Assist Support (INTERMACS), and holds a joint appointment in Cleveland Clinic’s Multi-organ Transplant Center. Dr. Young is certified as a Diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine as well as the subspecialty of cardiovascular disease and holds medical licensure from the states of California, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Dr. Young attended the University of Kansas, where he received his bachelor of arts degree with honors in biology. He matriculated to Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, where he was awarded his medical doctor degree cum laude in 1974 and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society. He remained in Houston at Baylor Affiliated Hospitals where he completed his clinical training, subsequently joined the faculty, and was named a professor of medicine with tenure in 1992. During this time, he was the Clinical Coordinator and Scientific Director for Dr. Michael E. DeBakey’s Multi-organ Transplant Center at The Methodist Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine. In 1995, he was named Head of the Section of Heart Failure and Cardiac Transplant Medicine in Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Cardiovascular Disease. In 1998, Dr. Young and his surgical colleague Patrick McCarthy, MD, created the Kaufman Center for Heart Failure at Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Young has participated in more than 150 clinical trials as an investigator and served as the U.S. principal or co-principal investigator for a multitude of multi-center clinical trials. He has published almost 600 manuscripts and several textbooks.

Dr. John Kirwan is Director of the Metabolic Translational Research Center. He is a Professor of Molecular Medicine at Cleveland Clinic and holds a Staff appointment in the Department of Pathobiology and Gastroenterology/Hepatology. He has active secondary appointments in the Department of Physiology & Biophysics and the Department of Nutrition at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Dr. Kirwan obtained his PhD in human bioenergetics in the laboratory of Dr. David Costill and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical and applied physiology and metabolism at Washington University School of Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. John Holloszy. He was Director of the Irish National Coaching and Training Center at the University of Limerick, Ireland (1991-93) and has held primary faculty appointments at the Pennsylvania State University (1993-99) and Case Western Reserve University (1999-06). As a clinical translational scientist, he maintains a productive, funded research program and has published extensively on his research, which is focused on diabetes, obesity, physical activity, nutrient regulation of energy balance, weight loss, and insulin resistance.

Philanthropic support is welcomed to provide the seed funding necessary to move ideas from conception to reality at a more rapid pace. Projects such as the recent, landmark bariatric surgery and diabetes reversal project (STAMPEDE) require resources to help us understand why the surgery is effective. We know that the procedure produces particular outcomes. However, we don’t understand why those outcomes exist, and how the metabolic change that occurs may be replicated through treatments in addition to surgery. Such revolutionary projects have the potential to cure one of the most widespread diseases that exist today. Additional support would also facilitate the dissemination of our knowledge throughout the diabetes community - both to specialists and patients.