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Endocrinology Research

Diabetes research is a core focus of this division. Details about the division’s research as part of the Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases are available. Indiana University is home to comprehensive interdisciplinary work in the field of metabolic bone research. For more details, please visit Indiana Center for Musculoskeletal Health. Dr. Michael Econs', our division chief, extensive work in this field has recently culminated in the FDA approval of a new drug for X-linked hypophosphatemia. Division faculty make major contributions to research in endocrinology with work appearing in top academic research journals.

Highlighted Areas of Research

  • Diabetes

    Researchers in endocrinology study Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. The research is broad and is done in laboratory and clinical settings.

    RADIANT aims to discover and define rare and atypical forms of diabetes. These refined diagnoses will be used by diabetes researchers, physicians, and patients to accurately explain their disease. The study entails genetic and clinical testing for enrolled participants.

    Rare and Atypical Diabetes Network logoPI: Carmella Evans-Molina, M.D., Ph.D.

    For more information, please contact study coordinator Kelly Moors at



    The Considine lab, led by Dr. Robert Considine, Ph.D., is focused on understanding the contribution of obesity to the development of diabetes and its complications. Current studies focus on effects of bariatric surgery to alter gut hormone release and improve glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. In collaboration with David Kareken, Ph.D. in Neurology, we are utilizing neuroimaging techniques to understand the reward system response to food cues in human subjects. Specifically, we are recruiting subjects that will undergo bariatric surgery to assess how the central neural processing of sweet taste differs after surgery.


    Dr. Swapnil Khare, M.D., leads a grant funded by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation studying how to improve diabetes care in patients with cystic fibrosis. 

  • Metabolic Bone Research

    The Endocrine Metabolic Bone research group conducts clinical trials and other clinical research studies in both rare and common metabolic musculoskeletal diseases as well as other endocrine conditions across the lifespan from pediatric to adults. These include clinical trials in osteoporosis and congenital adrenal hyperplasia as well as studies of musculoskeletal complications of various chronic conditions such as cystic fibrosis. Members of IU School of Medicine faculty, including Drs. Michael Econs, Kenneth White and Erik Imel, identified critical aspects of the regulation and pathophysiology of Fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) to multiple conditions including X-linked hypophosphatemia, Autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets, and the relationship of iron deficiency to FGF23 related pathology. These continue to be subjects of ongoing clinical and basic research at IU. Dr. Erik Imel was a leader of multi center clinical trials of novel drug therapy for X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH) leading to FDA approval of burosumab for XLH. Investigators in the Endocrine Metabolic Bone research group are conducting ongoing studies in osteoporosis, XLH, and osteoporosis among other conditions. The Endocrine Metabolic Bone research group is a component of the larger Indiana Center for Musculoskeletal Health which includes collaborations between clinical and basic science investigators across many disciplines working to advance science and clinical care.


    Dr. Econs’ general area of interest is the genetic aspects of metabolic bone disease. In this regard, he performs clinical, translational and basic studies of metabolic bone disorders. His lab discovered the hormone FGF23 and their work led to new therapies for X-linked hypophosphatemic rickets, tumor induced osteomalacia, and autosomal dominant hypophosphatemic rickets. His lab is working on clinical and translational studies to find a therapy for autosomal dominant osteopetrosis and they have a major ongoing effort in the genetics of osteoporosis. 


    Dr. Imel in the Endocrine Metabolic Bone Research group conducts health informatics studies of outcomes of osteoporosis, sarcopenia and other musculoskeletal conditions using real world clinical data through the resources of the Regenstrief Institute and machine learning models.