“My research is focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms that govern the growth and survival of beta cells.”

Ernesto Bernal-Mizrachi, M.D.

Ernesto Bernal-Mizrachi, M.D. serves as Deputy Director of Beta Cell Biology and Signal Transduction at the Diabetes Research Institute. He is also a Professor of Internal Medicine and Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and is a physician at the Miami Veterans Administration Hospital.

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Dr. Bernal-Mizrachi received his medical degree from the Universidad del Valle Medical School in Cali, Colombia, and completed a residency in internal medicine there. He then came to the United States for additional residency training in internal medicine at the University of Miami, followed by a three-year fellowship in endocrinology and metabolism at Washington University in St. Louis.

He joined Washington University faculty in 1999 and held the academic titles of assistant professor of medicine and assistant professor of cell biology from 2004, until 2009 when he moved to Michigan to assume the Soderquist Professorship. In 2015, he moved to the University of Miami as Chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and Deputy Director for Signal Transduction at the Diabetes Research Institute.

His research over the last 15 years has focused on the regulation of pancreatic beta cell mass and function, with a particular interest in Akt and mTOR signaling pathways in beta cell proliferation. His laboratory has made major contributions to our understanding of signaling pathways that regulate beta cell expansion and survival. The long term goal of these signaling studies is to develop novel pharmacological agents for the treatment and cure of type 1 and 2 diabetes.

In addition, his laboratory also explores how the fetal environment can alter the susceptibility to diabetes later in life, a concept that has major implications to human diabetes. Finally, his group has been exploring the importance of glucagon and alpha cells in the regulation of glucose homeostasis with particular interest in discovering avenues to decrease hypoglycemia in diabetes.

He has an excellent record of grant funding and currently is principal investigator on RO1 grants from the National Institutes of Health, a VA MERIT award and two foundation grants including American Diabetes Association and JDRF.

He has mentored over 15 undergraduate students and postdoctoral fellows, many of whom are now highly successful academic scientists and physicians. He has been consistently active in postdoctoral education and has served on the fellowship Training Operating Committee at Washington University and The University of Michigan.

In addition, he has served on study sections and review panels for the National Institutes of Health and the JDRF. He has also is a member of the editorial board of the American Journal of Physiology- Endocrinology and Metabolism and ad hoc reviewer for various specialty journals, Diabetes, Cell Metabolism, Diabetologia, Nature Medicine, Scientific Reports, Science, Gastroenterology, the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Cell Metabolism and Annual Review of Physiology.

Dr. Bernal-Mizrachi has received many wards including a Junior Faculty Award and a Career Development Award from the American Diabetes Association and he was elected a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI).

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