University of California, San Francisco Diabetes Center, Calif.

At the UCSF Diabetes Center, we treat diabetes -- both type 1 and 2 -- but our goal is to cure the disease. We know success is far more likely if we encourage a rich interaction between basic scientists, clinical researchers and specialists who offer up-to-date education for patients. We work in many ways to boost the likelihood that new knowledge generated in the lab can rapidly become new hope in the clinic.

We imagine a day when diabetes never arises, and so our research goal is to prevent diabetes from developing in the first place. From investigating how obesity and diet influence diabetes, to identifying and analyzing genes that predispose individuals to the disease, Diabetes Center researchers maintain the quest to stop diabetes before it starts.

In the meantime, we are focused on treating the disease. In my own research we aim to 're-tune' the immune system so that it doesn't go drastically awry, destroying precious insulin-producing cells. We want to be able to stop early-stage type 1 diabetes in its tracks. Clinical trials are underway to see if we can make this a reality. UCSF is the home of the Immune Tolerance Network, a group of more than 70 clinical research centers which together advance laboratory insights into clinical treatments.

Much of our effort focuses on developing techniques, therapies and tools that show promise of truly curing diabetes. We are part of a national effort to make the still-uncertain procedure of islet transplantation a routine treatment. New therapies based on natural products are also under investigation for type 2 diabetes, just one of many late-breaking therapies in clinical trials at the UCSF Diabetes Center.

Our physicians and nurses actively pursue research and teaching while maintaining the highest standards of clinical care. Most will argue that it is, in fact, our strong commitment to clinical research that has kept the Diabetes Clinical Center ranked as one of the top centers in the nation for diabetes care. Our active clinical research program means that our patients have early access to the late-breaking technologies, new treatment options and new strategies for diagnosing and managing type 1 and type 2 diabetes.