Research Opportunities

Diverse research opportunities exist within the Boston Children’s Hospital Division of Endocrinology. In addition, many of our fellows undertake their 2nd/3rd year fellowship research at one of our many neighboring institutions, including:

  • Joslin Diabetes Center
  • Brigham & Women’s Hospital
  • Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Broad Institute
  • Whitehead Institute
  • Harvard School of Public Health
  • Harvard Medical School

A wide variety of projects are available at the level of population sciences, patient-oriented research, isolated genes, cells, and intact organisms that include transgenic, knock-out and knock-in mouse models of human diseases. Selected fellows may obtain an MPH from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health or a Master of Medical Sciences from Harvard Medical School.

Research opportunities within the Boston Children’s Hospital Division of Endocrinology include:

Type 1 Diabetes

Advisors: Lori Laffel MD MPH, Katharine Garvey MD MPH, Christina Astley MD ScD, Michael Agus MD, Garry Steil PhD, Belinda Lennerz MD PhD, Joseph Wolfsdorf MB BCh

Transition to adult care in diabetes; diabetes clinical trials; diabetes technology use; health equity in diabetes; integration of exercise with other diabetes treatment technologies; glucose control algorithms and open/closed loop management of diabetes and hypoglycemia; glycemic control and hypoglycemia in critically ill children; diabetes technology, diet, and novel therapeutics in cystic fibrosis-related diabetes; diagnosis and treatment of diabetic ketoacidosis.

Obesity, Diet, Exercise, Bariatric Surgery, and Metabolism

Advisors:  David Ludwig MD PhD, Cara Ebbeling PhD, Belinda Lennerz MD PhD, Amy Fleischman MD MMSc, Joel Hirschhorn MD PhD, Nada Kalaany PhD, Margaret Stefater-Richards MD PhD

Dietary composition in body weight regulation; low glycemic index and low carbohydrate diets in obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus; obesity management using telemedicine; mechanisms of action of bariatric surgery; role of obesity in cancer pathogenesis; dietary effects on metabolites and cardiometabolic disease; novel pharmacologic treatments of Prader-Willi syndrome.

Neuroendocrinology and Energy Regulation

Advisors:  Joseph Majzoub MD, Joel Hirschhorn MD PhD, Dong Kong PhD, Umut Ozcan MD, Sang Park PhD

Regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis; role of CRH in fetal development and timing of parturition; neuronal circuits and regulation of appetite and energy expenditure; role of endoplasmic reticulum stress in energy regulation; leptin resistance and sensitization; causes and treatment of hypothalamic obesity.

Insulin Signaling and Lipid Biology

Advisors: Morris White PhD, Sudha Biddinger MD PhD, Umut Ozcan MD, Ji Miao PhD

Role of IRS proteins in insulin signaling, pancreatic beta cell biology, and etiology of type 1 and type 2 diabetes; role of insulin resistance in the metabolic syndrome; endoplasmic reticulum stress in insulin action and beta cell function; insulin signaling in cholesterol and lipid biology.

Reproductive Endocrinology and Gender Medicine

Advisors: Yee-Ming Chan MD PhD, Jeremi Carswell MD, Stephanie Roberts MD

Genetics and diagnosis of delayed puberty and differences of sex development (DSD); outcomes and treatment of DSD; diagnosis, treatment and outcomes for transgender patients; genetic and hormonal contributions to sex and gender differences.

Skeletal Biology and Growth

Advisors: Christina Jacobsen MD PhD, Diana Carlone PhD, Nora Renthal MD PhD, Joel Hirschhorn MD PhD

Mechanisms and treatment of pediatric bone diseases including rickets, low bone density, osteoporosis, osteogenesis imperfecta, hypophosphatasia, cystic fibrosis-related bone disease, and other skeletal disorders; bone and growth plate biology; clinical trials of novel drugs and devices.

Adrenal Development and Physiology

Advisors: David Breault MD PhD​, Joseph Majzoub MD, Kleiton Borges PhD

Basic physiology of adrenal gland development and function; animal models of adrenal dysfunction, stress, and treatment; physiology/pathophysiology of adrenarche.

Thyroid Disorders

Advisors: Ari Wassner MD, Jessica Smith MD, Christine Cherella MD

Diagnosis and management of pediatric thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer; pediatric Graves disease management and outcomes; pathology and treatment of autoimmune thyroiditis, congenital hypothyroidism and iodine metabolism.

Quality Improvement and Patient Safety

Advisors: Erinn Rhodes MD MPH, Katharine Garvey MD MPH, Christine Cherella MD

Outcomes in inpatient and outpatient diabetes care; development and evaluation of practice guidelines for diabetes mellitus and endocrine disorders (e.g. adrenal insufficiency, vitamin D deficiency); retention in pediatric weight management programs; telehealth for diabetes care.

Human Genetics in Endocrinology

Advisors: Joel Hirschhorn MD PhD, Ingrid Holm MD MPH, Yee-Ming Chan MD PhD

Genetics of obesity, puberty, and growth; genetics of diabetes complications; new methods for genomic and large-scale data analysis; role of Next Gen sequencing in diagnosis of neonatal diseases; disclosure of Next Gen sequencing results to patients.

Stem Cell Biology in Endocrinology

Advisors: David Breault MD PhD, Diana Carlone PhD, Daniel Zeve MD PhD

Role of stem cells, induced pluripotential cells, gut-derived endocrine progenitor cells, and organoids in endocrine physiology and therapeutics, including in pancreatic islets and the adrenal.