Department of Internal Medicine

Metabolic Medicine

Targeting endocrine and metabolic disorders including diabetes and obesity.
  • Discovery of adiponection and establishment of the novel concept of “metabolic syndrome”.
  • Discovery and elucidation of a novel subtype of type 1 diabetes; “fulminant type 1 diabetes”.
  • Understanding pancreatic β- and α-cell dysfunction in diabetes, and their regeneration.
  • Clinical researches focusing on metabolic diseases and atherosclerosis, and detailed case analyses clarifying pathophysiology.
  • Study of endocrine diseases understanding systemic networking mediated by hormones.
Professor Iichiro Shimomura
Metabolic Medicine
Our department is working on research and education focusing on endocrine and metabolic diseases especially diabetes and obesity. Our research approaches are wide from both clinical and basic points of view. We are eager to educate “a good physician” and contribute to the world-wide medicine and science.

Comprehensive basic and clinical research approaches for endocrine and metabolic disorders.

Diabetes Research

We are recognized as one of the world-leading diabetes research departments by a lot of advanced research accomplishments; discovery and establishment of “fulminant type 1 diabetes” as a novel subtype of type 1 diabetes, identification of MafA the critical insulin transcription factor, and establishment of epoch-making pathophysiological concepts related to systemic regulation of glucose. Recently, we are enthusiastically going to forward more research projects to contribute to the progress in the diabetology; clarifying the pathogenesis of fulminant type 1 diabetes utilizing the patients’ pancreatic tissues and iPS (induced Pluripotent Stem) cells, development of novel therapeutic approaches targeting molecular mechanisms of pancreatic islet cell disorder and cellular regeneration, and pathophysiological investigation in insulin-glucagon dynamics. In addition to these basic approaches, we are also working on clinical studies for the future clinical application; risk evaluations and identifications of biomarkers in diabetic complications, pancreas transplantation, and large clinical epidemiological studies.

Figure 1.

Metabolic Research

We have propounded and established the pivotal pathological concept “metabolic syndrome” which significance is now widely accepted in various metabolic and atherosclerotic diseases all over the world. We are continuously working on studies for metabolic syndrome widely in both clinical and basic researches to elucidate the underlying mechanisms. Especially, we are focusing on the function of adiponectin which we have identified from human adipose tissue, and also pushing forward researches aiming identifications and analyses of novel molecules related to development of metabolic syndrome. In addition, we are expanding our accomplishments in basic researches to clinical science in the field of obese adipose tissue science; fat reactive oxygen species or fat hypoxia in obesity. We are now explicating a new research field called “adiposcience” which connects energy metabolism, atherosclerosis, and organ dysfunction with the adipose tissue at the core of the concept.

Figure 2.

Endocrine Research

We have been studying and discovering a lot of new findings in the wide-ranged areas in endocrinology; pituitary, thyroid, and adrenal diseases with various related endocrine states. Among them, we recently found a new clinical state; syndrome of inappropriate secretion of thyroid stimulating hormone after Cushing’s syndrome. We are now working on both clinical and basic research especially in pituitary and adrenal diseases including acromegaly, Cushing’s disease and syndrome, and primary aldosteronism. We are also recognized as an outstanding thyroid cancer research group. We first proposed a novel concept of thyroid carcinogenesis, “fetal cell carcinogenesis”, and established a preoperative diagnostic method for follicular thyroid carcinoma.

Figure 3.