Dr. Michael Rickels completed his undergraduate degree in mathematics and biology at Colgate University and medical and translational research degrees at the University of Pennsylvania, where he also trained in Internal Medicine and Endocrinology. He has since remained at Penn, holding appointments as Medical Director for the Pancreatic Islet Cell Transplant Program since 2008, Assistant Director of the Type 1 Diabetes Unit from 2005 – 2013, and Director of the Translational Research Program in the Institute for Diabetes, Obesity & Metabolism and Associate Director of the Clinical & Translational Research Center.
Dr. Rickels conducts patient-oriented diabetes research that aims at understanding the pathogenesis of different forms of diabetes and the in vivo mechanisms of new diabetes treatments. Present work in type 1 diabetes is focused on patients with long-standing disease and is examining the effects of islet transplantation or real-time continuous glucose monitoring on glucose counterregulatory defenses against hypoglycemia. Current work in type 2 diabetes is focused on understanding early defects in insulin secretion and the impact of different strategies for enhancing GLP-1 effects. Additional work is directed at investigating genetic determinants of insulin secretory reserve in humans and on understanding the pathophysiologic defects involved in the etiology of diabetes related to cystic fibrosis.
Dr. Rickels' research is supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where he has served as a reviewer on several special emphasis panels; presently he is part of the Restore Insulin Secretion DSMB and the Clinical and Integrative Diabetes and Obesity Study Section, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In the past he served on the Clinical Investigations Study Section of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (2006-2008). Dr. Rickels is currently an investigator for the Type 1 Diabetes Exchange Clinic Registry, supported by the Helmsley Charitable Trust. Dr. Rickels has chaired the metabolics study subcommittee for the NIH-sponsored Clinical Islet Transplantation consortium since 2004, and the publications and presentations committee for the NIH-sponsored Collaborative Islet Transplant Registry since 2010. He has also served as a member on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism (2009-2013) and Cell Transplantation (2009-present), and as member of the American Diabetes Association's Scientific Sessions planning committee (2012-2014).