U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Robert Hanson

 Contact Info

Tel: 602-200-5207
Email: rhanson@phx.niddk.nih.gov

 Select Experience

  • FellowPhoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch, NIDDK1991–1993
  • ResidentPreventive Medicine, State University of New York-Stony Brook1989–1991
  • ResidentState University of New York-Stony Brook1986–1989
  • M.P.H.Columbia University1991
  • M.D.University of Kansas1986

 Related Links


    • Epidemiology/Population Sciences
    Research Summary/In Plain Language

    Research Summary

    Research Goal

    The ultimate goal of this research is to understand the causes of diabetes, obesity, and diabetic complications and to understand the molecular processes that lead to these diseases.

    Current Research

    The Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch conducts research on the causes and correlates of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and diabetic complications.  My research has focused on the epidemiology of these diseases, particularly on genetic and molecular aspects, in American Indian and other populations.  Genetic and non-genetic risk factors for diabetes, obesity, and complications of diabetes are being studied using classical techniques of epidemiology.  The potential genetic causes of these diseases are also studied using the techniques of genetic epidemiology, including studies of variants in DNA in families and in populations. Studies of gene transcription, protein expression, and cellular metabolism are also being pursued.  The branch is studying the effect of lifestyle interventions to promote weight loss on prevention of diabetes and its complications.

    Applying our Research

    Some of the branch’s research consists of clinical trials that have direct clinical applications. The genomic and molecular research does not have an immediate clinical application, but through this research we hope to gain an understanding of the processes that lead to diabetes and related conditions. Ultimately, we hope that this knowledge will lead to better treatments and preventive strategies for these diseases.

    Need for Further Study

    The technology for studying the genetic and molecular aspects of diabetes is continuing to improve. The greatest challenges are to develop analytical methods that allow scientists to interpret the results from these technical advances and to ensure that diverse populations are included in genomic and molecular research.