The Department of Medicine is pleased to announce the appointment of Raghavendra Mirmira, MD, PhD, as Professor of Medicine in the Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism, and Director of the newly established Translational Research Center effective November 1, 2019. Dr. Mirmira is an international leader in Type 1 diabetes research—specifically the biology of islet cells. Dr. Mirmira recently served as the Eli Lilly Professor in Pediatric Diabetes, Director of the Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, Director of the Center for Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases and Co-Director of the Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) at Indiana University School of Medicine.
Dr. Mirmira is a 1986 graduate of The University of Chicago where he earned his Bachelor’s degree with Honors in Chemistry. He then entered our MD, PhD (MSTP) program where he worked under the mentorship of Dr. Howard Tager studying insulin-receptor interactions. His work during this time set the foundation for the development of ultra-rapid- and ultra-long-acting insulin that are widely in use today to treat all forms of diabetes. He received his PhD degree in 1991, followed by his MD degree in 1993. Dr. Mirmira subsequently completed his residency in internal medicine and subspecialty training in diabetes and endocrinology at the University of California at San Francisco. During his subspecialty training, he worked in the laboratory of Dr. Michael German, where he studied the regulation of genes in the insulin-producing β cell. During this time, he held the prestigious Physician Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a JDRF Career Development Award, and later a NIH career development (K) award. Dr. Mirmira then joined the faculty at the University of Virginia in 2000, where he continued his studies on the regulation of genes in insulin producing cells. For his work, he received the prestigious Thomas R. Lee Career Development Award from the American Diabetes Association and was honored in Washington, DC in 2004 with the Discovery Channel Medical Honor, along with Surgeon General David Satcher. In 2008, Dr. Mirmira moved to Indiana University to assume directorship of the burgeoning Diabetes Center, where he subsequently built a nationally recognized program that earned NIH P30 funding in 2015.
As a researcher, Dr. Mirmira focuses his efforts on the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus and the biology of the islet. His laboratory is interested in three key areas: the role of mRNA translation in the cellular response of islet β cells to inflammation; the role of lipoxygenases in dysfunction of β cells in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes; and the identification of biomarkers of β-cell stress and death in diabetes. His research has been continuously funded by NIH since 1999 currently serving as PI on two R01’s. As a scholar he has published over 130 scientific papers in prestigious journals. He is Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, and an elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation.
As Director of the Department of Medicine’s Translational Research Center, Dr. Mirima will facilitate and oversee the recruitment and support of outstanding physician scientists in strategic areas of priority to further advance our translational research. Dr. Mirmira will also become actively involved in the Kovler Diabetes Center and Diabetes Research & Training Center under direction of Louis Philipson, MD, PhD, and Graeme Bell, PhD, respectively.