Albert-Einstein Vellore Collaboration

Collaboration with Albert Einstein College of Medicine

The Endocrinology Department at Christian Medical College Vellore has been partnered with Professor Meredith Hawkins and the Global Diabetes Institute at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, USA, for the past five years. Together, these teams have been investigating a novel, poorly understood form of diabetes known as Malnutrition-modulated Diabetes Mellitus (MMDM), or “Lean Diabetes”, which is thought to be caused by malnutrition in utero or in early childhood development. The scarce available medical literature about Lean Diabetes reports a significant burden of the disease in regions of India with a higher prevalence of malnutrition. Our teams have collaborated to study patients with Lean Diabetes using highly sophisticated hormone infusion studies – considered the gold standard for analysis of human metabolism. The goal of this project is to generate a conclusive, comprehensive disease profile of Lean Diabetes in order to characterize and properly manage the disease.

The collaboration between the Endocrinology Departments at Albert Einstein and CMC has been highly fruitful in research collaboration, healthcare capacity building, medical education, and high quality medical care delivery on a large scale. The Albert Einstein College of Medicine is a premier, research-intensive medical school dedicated to innovative biomedical investigation and to the development of ethical and compassionate physicians and scientists. The Endocrinology Department at CMC receives some of the most complex cases from around India and surrounding countries, providing a diverse and compelling patient population. Doctors and nurses from both Einstein and CMC have engaged in a travel exchange to collaborate on research activities and to learn about the practice of medicine in different environments. The partnership between the two institutions has permitted doctors and nurses from CMC to accompany members of the Einstein team to educate providers in countries like Kenya and Thailand, where the international team has developed a special curriculum using CMC’ s diabetes management textbook, currently in its sixth edition. After completion of this study, the two teams hope to continue to conduct diabetes-related research, as well as to pursue means of expanding institutional research capacity on a long-term basis.