Diabetes & Endocrinology


Diabetes researchers at Lawson focus on innovation and discovery. Through translational research studies, their important findings are applied by an interdisciplinary team of care providers and educators who work to support patients’ goals and health care needs.

Lawson scientists also conduct basic diabetes and endocrinology research, with many working in partnership with Robarts Research Institute.

Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism

A wide range of leading-edge clinical trials and scientific research is underway in London, Ontario by diabetes and endocrinology researchers, who enjoy a unique working partnership with care providers at St. Joseph’s Health Care London.

The home base for diabetes clinical trials is St. Joseph’s Hospital, where research space is located adjacent to the Diabetes Education Centre and clinic area, providing a fertile ground for collaboration in the fight against diabetes.

St. Joseph’s Hospital is the primary regional site for endocrine disease management with a multi-disciplinary team providing a range of specialized care:

  • General endocrine disorders
  • Lipid disorders
  • Pituitary/adrenal/gonadal disorders
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Pregnancy and endocrine disorders

See more information about the Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Lawson Research Areas

  • Understanding how to regenerate insulin-producing beta cells to reverse diabetes
  • Prevention of gestational diabetes
  • Prevention of the onset of type 2 diabetes in at risk youth and how risk can travel through generations
  • Non-invasive imaging of insulin-producing cells to monitor interventions to arrest or reverse diabetes
  • Clinical trials with new insulin pump innovations, including artificial pancreas
  • Clinical trials testing the latest medications for control of type 2 diabetes

Training and Education

The Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism at the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University provides training to undergraduate medical students and other allied health professionals. Its postgraduate education program coordinates training for those individuals interested in an academic and/or clinical career in endocrinology and metabolism. 

What is Diabetes?

Today, there are more than 10 million Canadians living with diabetes or prediabetes.    

With more than 20 Canadians being newly diagnosed with the disease every hour of every day, chances are that diabetes affects you or someone you know.

Diabetes is a chronic, often debilitating and sometimes fatal disease, in which the body either cannot produce insulin or cannot properly use the insulin it produces. Insulin is a hormone that controls the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Diabetes leads to high blood sugar levels, which can damage organs, blood vessels and nerves. The body needs insulin to use sugar as an energy source.

  • Type 1 diabetes occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and kills the beta cells of the pancreas. No, or very little, insulin is released into the body. As a result, sugar builds up in the blood instead of being used as energy.
  • Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body can’t properly use the insulin that is released (called insulin insensitivity) or does not make enough insulin. As a result, sugar builds up in the blood instead of being used as energy.
  • Gestational diabetes is a temporary condition that occurs during pregnancy. It affects approximately two to four per cent of all pregnancies (in the non-Aboriginal population) and involves an increased risk of developing diabetes for both mother and child. 

Find more information by visiting the Canadian Diabetes Association website