This is an exciting time to be working on diabetes and obesity. A number of basic research and treatment areas hold promise, both in helping us understand these global problems better, and in monitoring and treating them. Here are a few hot topics to watch for in the coming year.

  • Stem cell therapies for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. Recent advances suggest that we may be closer than ever to producing something akin to an “artificial pancreas.”
  • Remote glucose sensing. Newer technologies are in development that will obviate the daily need to insert a needle into the subcutaneous tissue that is tethered to a readout system. Sensors that need to be inserted infrequently or that are applied to the skin and can be read remotely are in clinical trials.
  • Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). The burgeoning worldwide obesity epidemic is generating increasing numbers of fatty liver disease. Left untreated, this condition can develop into full blown cirrhosis and, perhaps, hepatocellular carcinoma.