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Adult Care Providers
Ricky Bassi, M.D.
Dr. Bassi has been at the University of Florida for more than 10 years and takes great pride in being a member of this institution. She practices primarily at the Malcolm Randall Veteran’s Hospital and has a clinical based practice addressing a myriad of endocrine maladies . Her current interests are managing thyroid dysfunction and pituitary pathology with a specific interest in thyroid cancer.
Dr. Clare-Salzler received his Doctor of Medicine and medical training from the State University of New York in Buffalo. He began his research career at the University of California in Los Angeles, where he studied the immunopathogenesis of Type I Diabetes (T1D) in NOD mice, which is the genetic mouse model for T1D. Since transferring to the University of Florida Departments of Immunology, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Internal Medicine and Surgery in 1993, Dr. Clare-Salzler has been pursuing his research in T1D diagnosis and management, autoimmune thyroid disease, and other endocrine diseases. He participates in many clinical trials, including the PANDA infant screening program and the Diabetes Prevention Trial for T1D.
Dr. Kenneth Cusi serves as the chief of the adult division of endocrinology, diabetes & metabolism. He oversees all adult outpatient and inpatient endocrinology clinics and consult activities, serves as a mentor for all clinical and laboratory research efforts, and mentors faculty and fellows in the division to help UF Health take the next step in becoming an international leader in adult diabetes, metabolism, and obesity. He received his medical degree from the University of Buenos Aires School of Medicine in Argentina and completed his residency at the Center of Medical Education & Clinical Research in Buenos Aires and a clinical fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. His experience in diabetes prior to UF was in the department of medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio for more than 15 years. Cusi is the principal investigator of various ongoing clinical research projects. His grants focus on type 2 diabetes and its complications, particularly in Hispanics.
Dr. Colleen Digman is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine where she recieved her medical degree in May of 2000. Dr. Digman completed her internship at the University of Massachusetts, trained at the New England Medical Center and followed up with a fellowship in Endocrinology and Metabolism at the New England Medical Center from 2003-2005. From 2005-2008, she served as a staff physician in Endocrinology at North Shore Medical Center and then transferred to Valley Regional Hospital in Claremont, NH where she continued as a staff physician from 2008-2010. In 2010, Dr. Digman started with the University of Florida, in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism as a Clinical Assistant Professor. Learn more about Dr. Digman, including her current research interests.
Robert Lavine, M.D.
Dr. Lavine joined the staff at UF Health in Gainesville Florida as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Endocrinology September 2011, where he is mainly involved in patient care and teaching the endocrine fellows. His clinical interests include improving the care of patients with endocrine disorders and diabetes in both an outpatient and an inpatient setting. Educating patients about their disorders as well as continuing education of healthcare professionals is very important to Dr. Lavine as is continuing to improve the care of endocrine and diabetes patients as advances in treatment become available. Learn more about Dr. Lavine, including his current research interests.
Romina Lomónaco, M.D.
Dr. Lomónaco currently serves as an Assistant Professor of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism in the Department of Medicine. Dr. Lomónaco is a co-investigator of ongoing clinical research projects. Her research focuses on adult diabetes and metabolism, both on clinical and basic research aspects related to the role of obesity and lipotoxicity in the development of Type 2 diabetes and its complications; in particular, the pathogenesis of NAFLD. She has also published several high-impact original articles in the main journals of diabetes and liver diseases (see attached list of publications) and presented many of these recent studies at the Annual Meetings of the American Diabetes Association and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Learn more about Dr. Lomónaco, including her current research interests.
Suzanne L. Quinn, PharmD, M.D.
Dr. Quinn is the current director of the Endocrinology Fellowship Program, serves as a Vice-Chair for the university’s Investigational Review Board and as Endocrinology Section Chief for the Gainesville Veterans Administration Medical Center. Dr. Quinn is a published researcher in the fields of growth hormone receptors and, more recently, hypertension, osteoporosis and diabetes. She has been involved in a number of clinical studies in patients with hypertension, osteoporosis and diabetes, focusing predominantly on diabetes and associated lipid abnormalities. Dr. Quinn’s clinical interests include a variety of adult and pediatric general endocrine disorders. She studies in-home intravenous antibiotic programs, and has clinical interests in new therapeutic regimens for achieving a tighter control of diabetes. With her background in pharmacy and therapeutics she is especially interested in controlling diabetes through new therapies, insulin pumps and highly-concentrated U-500 insulin.
Nicolas E. Simpson, PhD
Presently, Dr. Simpson directs research in the Endocrinology Division’s Laboratory for Tissue Engineering. The major research focus of the Laboratory for Tissue Engineering is concerned with developing, engineering and characterizing a tissue construct comprised of insulin-secreting cells entrapped in a matrix (an aptly named ‘bioartificial pancreas’). These substitutes may someday be used as a replacement for the insulin-secreting cells that have failed in patients with diabetes (particularly type 1). Much of this research involving the bioartificial pancreas has had an emphasis on studying aspects of the biomaterials used to entrap viable cells within the device (particularly alginate), and the interaction between these cells and the biomaterials.
Dr. Stacpoole’s federally-sponsored research is broadly focused in two areas: intermediary metabolism and new drug development. He conducts patient oriented research on the Shands Hospital Clinical Research Center (CRC) and collaborates with investigators across N. America into the causes and treatment of genetic mitochondrial diseases, due to nuclear DNA or mitochondrial DNA mutations in genes that encode enzymes of carbohydrate metabolism or oxidative phosphorylation. With regard to new drug development, Dr. Stacpoole and his colleagues have developed a prototype for a novel class of investigational drugs for the treatment of acquired or inborn errors of mitochondrial energy metabolism and lactic acidosis. The prototype of this class, dichloroacetate (DCA), is undergoing clinical trials on the CRC in healthy subjects and in children and adults with congenital lactic acidosis. Its sites and mechanisms of action are being further explored by in vitro and in vivo laboratory studies employing cell and molecular techniques and mass spectrometry.
Nishanth E. Sunny, PhD
Dr. Sunny uses stable isotope based Mass Spectrometry and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance in combination with standard tools in molecular biology to profile glucose, lipid and mitochondrial metabolism in animal models of obesity and diabetes as well as in human studies. Defects in insulin signaling associated with insulin resistance and diabetes results in multiple metabolic derangements, either through altered nutrient transport or defective intracellular nutrient/molecular signaling mechanisms. These derangements are not limited to pathways of glucose and lipid metabolism, but also extend to pathways of urea and amino acid metabolism. Dr. Sunny’s research interest is in identifying shared metabolic defects contributing to the progression of insulin resistance and diabetes, leading to fat accumulation and further complications in the liver. To this end, he works on various rodent models of obesity and/or diabetes in which experimental metabolic perturbations are carefully examined by means of state-of-the-art techniques (i.e., euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp, use of stable isotopes, NMR, other) to tease out and amplify metabolic alterations contributing to disease progression. Dr. Sunny also has vast experience in profiling hepatic glucose and mitochondrial metabolism using stable isotopes in human subjects with fatty liver.
Sujata Wagh, M.D.
Dr. Sujata Wagh currently serves as an adjunct clinical assistant professor in the Division of Endocrinology. Her experience in the field of endocrinology began in the late 1980s at the University of Bombay in India. Wagh’s education in India was followed by an internship, a fellowship and residency at St. Vincent’s Medical Center/Columbia University, University of Connecticut and University of Massachusetts medical programs. Her areas of focus are thyroid disorders, including thyroid nodules and thyroid cancer, parathyroid disorders, metabolic bone disease, osteoporosis, adrenal disorders, poly-cystic ovarian disease, and diabetes.
Tamara A. Wright, PA-C, BSMT
Tamara is a graduate of the University of Florida, College of Medicine in 2000 and also received Bachelor of Science in medical technology in 1991 with honors. She worked as a medical technologist in hematology, chemistry, microbiology and blood banking before returning to school in 1998. As a physician assistant (PA) she has worked in gastroenterology, hematology/oncology/ physical medicine and rehabilitation and currently adult endocrinology and metabolism. Her areas of focus are diabetes, thyroid disorders, osteoporosis, and dyslipidemias.
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