Specialized Programs

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Research volunteers at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston have a critical role in helping to advance the treatment and understanding of diabetes and its complications. The participation of research study volunteers at Joslin has been instrumental in providing greater excellence in the care of others with diabetes.

Our researchers recruit patients to learn more about the nature of diabetes and related metabolic disorders. There are also “clinical trials,” — studies in which patients are sought to test the effectiveness of new drugs, devices or other treatments that may then be approved for general use.

Individuals participating in any research study must meet certain study requirements depending on the study and be willing to sign an informed consent.


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The screening process may take 5-7 days. We will get back to you via email or phone.

Our 4 Clinical Studies

Safety and Efficacy of Imatinib (Gleevec) for Preserving Beta-cell Function in New-onset Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. The GleeT1D Study.

Description: GleeT1D is a study where researchers want to test if Gleevec® (imatinib mesylate) may be of benefit in slowing the body’s destruction of beta cells when given to individuals recently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). The goal of this study is to preserve beta cells so that the body can continue to produce some of its own insulin. Even when insulin injections are needed, it is believed that insulin produced by the body can improve overall blood sugar control, make daily management of T1D easier, and may reduce the risk of long-term complications. Participation in the GleeT1D study will last up to 2 years and will involve taking pills (either Gleevec® or a placebo) once a day for 6 months and periodically coming in to Joslin Diabetes Center for follow up visits and lab tests.

Recruitment: Seeking individuals who have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes less than 3 months ago and are 18 to 45 years of age

Contact: Brittany Resnick at 617-309-4148 or[email protected]

(CHS# 2014-32)


The Nutrition Path Study

Description: The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of three different models of medical nutrition therapy on blood sugar control over 16 weeks. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of three nutrition models:

A. Standard nutrition
B. Structured nutrition + meal replacements
C. Structured nutrition + meal replacements + dietitian support

The study involves:
• 3 visits to Joslin Diabetes Center over 16 weeks
• 2 follow-up phone calls
• Blood tests and body fat measurements
• Meeting with a dietitian
• Keeping a food log

Monetary compensation and parking validation provided for eligible study participants.

Recruitment: Patients with type 2 diabetes between the ages of 30 and 80 who are overweight and whose A1C is between 7 and 10%.

Contact: Padraig Carolan at (617) 309-4145 or[email protected]

Does a nutrient found in beets reduce diabetes risk?

Description: In this clinical research study we are evaluating whether supplementation of a naturally occurring component found in beets and other vegetables and grains reduces diabetes risk. The product we are studying is a modified amino acid that is important in several metabolic pathways and lower in patients with diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors.

Participants will have a glucose tolerance test, commonly used to diagnose type 2 diabetes and if prediabetic will be randomized (like the flip of a coin) to receive the supplement or a placebo. Measurements of insulin sensitivity, liver fat, and blood vessel function will occur before and after 3 months of supplementation, requiring two days and the overnight stay at the beggining and again at the end of the study with two additional morning visits during the study.

Recruiting: We are seeking clinical Research Volunteers with risk factors for type 2 diabetes or prediabetes who are overweight, between 21-70 years of age, who are willing to help us learn about the effects of naturally occurring food substances on cardiometabolic health.

Contact: If you are interested in learning more about the study, please contact Ana Maria Grizales, MD at 617-309-4736 or email[email protected]

CIRT: Cardiovascular Inflammation Reduction Trial

Description: We are seeking study volunteers who have had a heart attack or been diagnosed with coronary heart disease in the last 5 years to join a research study at the Joslin Diabetes Center to study if reducing inflammation with low-dose methotrexate, a very common anti-inflammatory drug, can lower the risk of having future heart attacks, strokes, or dying from heart disease. This study will include taking methotrexate or placebo for around 3 years, and bimonthly visits with blood draws. Compensation for time and parking is provided.

Recruitment: You may be eligible to participate in CIRT if you have had a heart attack or been diagnosed with coronary heart disease in the past 5 years, and you have either diabetes or a condition called “metabolic syndrome”.

Contact: If you are interested in participating, contact the Study Coordinator, Jackie Piper at: (617)-309-4725 or [email protected]

(CHS #2013-06)

TrialNet Natural History Study for the Prevention of Type 1 Diabetes

Description:  This study aims to identify youth and adults at risk for type 1 diabetes by testing for diabetes-related antibodies in relatives of people with type 1 diabetes.  It involves a single blood test.  People who test positive will be eligible for further testing and may be eligible to participate in prevention trials.

Recruitment: Parents, children, & siblings, ages 1-45, and cousins, grandchildren, nieces, & nephews, ages 1-20, of people with type 1 diabetes.

Contact: If you are interested in learning more about the study, please contact Sarah Szubowicz at (617) 309-4493 or [email protected]

(CHS #03-33)