Our Story

Established in 2012, the Diabetes & Obesity Research Institute was started through a generous $3M gift from the estate of Mr. Clifton Stewart, whose interest in diabetes and cancer prevention built the USC Clifton-Stewart Diabetes Research Laboratory.

In addition, generous funds from the Robert C. & Veronica Atkins Foundation have placed the DORI well on its way to becoming a leader in the field of diabetes and obesity research, treatment, and prevention.

Our Story – Funding Novel Research

DORI was developed alongside a team of experts in population research, clinical research, mHealth & early life research. Currently, DORI includes a research base of 58 investigators and $20.15M in research funding in direct costs/year (87% NIH/Federal funding) in obesity, nutrition, and diabetes.

The goal of DORI continues to focus on studying diverse and high-risk patients and communities to understand ethnic and income disparities in obesity and diabetes, how these disparities link to disease and how they emerge during critical periods of the life and development.

This is best represented by DORI’s novel research in areas such as, the basic science of adipose tissue, beta-cell biology & appetite regulation, nutrition science, health outcome and implementation science, digital health technologies.

Infographic that shows $20 million grant going toward human studies, clinical trials, community research and Lab based studies. The focus is on the question highlighted in yellow of how do ethnic & income disparities link to disease and how do they emerge in development

DORI’s Unique Focus on Disparities
in Obesity & Diabetes

Investigators and staff at DORI work to develop stronger ties with community health organizations and synergize efforts to strengthen clinical options for all people.

What makes DORI unique?

Over the past eight years DORI has impacted many areas of scientific research, campus life and healthcare policy. DORI has built a vibrant research environment built around robust collaborations and Core facilities; propel Keck School of Medicine into a topflight medical school. An extension of this vibrant collaborative research environment across the USC with the establishment of a unified vision and approach for obesity and diabetes research and education.

State & Local Level

The institute is dedicated to assisting and strengthening efforts to develop effective strategies (e.g. monitoring patients, building policies, and creating interventions) to ultimately stop diabetes and its associated medical complications from impacting the health of society.

How you can support us

Your donation supports scientists, funds cutting edge research, and the training and education of students and young researchers. Any donation amount can provide seed funding in order to obtain NIH funding, bridge NIH funding gaps, or recruit world-class faculty.

Latest Research

Impact of Gastric Banding Versus Metformin on β-Cell Function in Adults With Impaired Glucose Tolerance or Mild Type 2 Diabetes

Publication by Anny H. Xiang, Enrique Trigo, Mayra Martinez, Namir Katkhouda, Elizabeth Beale, Xinhui Wang, Jun Wu,Ting Chow, Cortney Montgomery, Krishna S. Nayak, Fadi Hendee, Thomas A. Buchanan and for the RISE Consortium in the following link:

Central Dicer-miR-103/107 controls developmental switch of POMC progenitors into NPY neurons and impacts glucose homeostasis

Publication by Sophie Croizier, Soyoung Park, Julien Maillard, Sebastien G Bouret. Proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons are major negative regulators of energy balance. A distinct developmental property of POMC neurons is that they can adopt an orexigenic neuropeptide Y (NPY) phenotype.

Physical Activity and Bone Accretion: Isotemporal Modeling and Genetic Interactions.

Publication by Mitchell JA, Chesi A, McCormack SE, Cousminer DL, Kalkwarf HJ, Lappe JM, Gilsanz V, Oberfield SE, Shepherd JA, Kelly A, Grant SFA, Zemel BS. This study aimed to determine if replacing time spent in high- and low-impact physical activity (PA) predicts changes in pediatric bone mineral density (BMD) and content (BMC).