Member Spotlight: Rodica Busui

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Member Spotlight: Rodica Busui

Precision Health member Rodica Pop-Busui, MD, PhD, is the Larry D. Soderquist Professor of Diabetes, chair of clinical research at the Caswell Diabetes Institute at U-M, and President-elect for Medicine & Science at the American Diabetes Association. In her personal time, she enjoys downhill skiing, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Diabetes-related research and projects
Dr. Busui leads the Program for Clinical Research in Diabetes Care & Complications, which comprises a dedicated and united team of physician-scientists from multiple specialties, other researchers, nurses and clinical coordinators, statisticians, and trainees. The team has been at the forefront of diabetes research and care through seminal work that spans the entire diabetes spectrum, from management of type-1 (T1D) and type-2 diabetes (T2D), finding new targets and treatments for chronic diabetes complications, preventing all diabetes-related amputation, and using diabetes technologies and behavioral interventions to improve diabetes care, to implementing research evidence into the clinical care and understanding the social determinants of health (SDOH) that impact access to optimal care in people with diabetes.

Understanding in-depth the biology and pathophysiology of diabetes complications is crucial for unveiling and implementing optimal therapeutic strategies in the clinical care for all people with diabetes to prevent and/or reverse diabetes burden and  improve lives for all.

Importantly, this work is done in strong partnership with all research participants, whose generous help is instrumental in obtaining the best evidence and disseminating knowledge into clinical care.

Current projects:

  • The Diabetic Foot Consortium (DFC), funded by a NIDDK U01 grant (U01 DK119083), is the first-ever multicenter network to study diabetic foot ulcers, a common and burdensome complication of diabetes and the leading cause of lower limb amputations in the United States. The DFC aims to lay the foundation for a clinical trial network to test how to improve diabetic wound healing and prevent amputations in all people with diabetes. The University of Michigan DFC clinical center is leading the entire consortium, working closely with the Data Coordinating Center, also housed at U-M.Busui’s team has used Precision Health tools for DFC studies and identified the impact of SDOH on diabetic foot ulcers, among other findings.Read study synopses of DFC projects.

    DFC Manuscripts:
    Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology: The NIDDK Diabetic Foot Consortium
    Journal of Diabetes and its Complications: On diabetic foot ulcer knowledge gaps, innovation, evaluation, prediction markers, and clinical needs

  • The JDRF Center of Excellence at U-M is a multi-PI, cross-departmental center grant studying the heterogeneity in the risk of diabetes complications and beta cell dysfunction in people with T1D using state-of-the-art metabolic profiles and metabotypes, as well as complex AI and reinforced learning methods, to identify predictive markers and new therapeutic targets for T1D and its complications.
  • NIDDK-funded R01 clinical trials: The team, under Dr. Busui’s leadership, is also currently engaged in several trials aiming to find disease-modifying therapies for people with various diabetic complications. For example, NIH/NIDDK-1-R01-DK-107956-01 and NIH/NIDDK 1R01DK129318-01 are investigator-designed clinical trials evaluating older drugs for new targets—as disease modifying therapies for diabetic neuropathy and diabetic kidney disease.
  • Studies targeting the effects of COVID-19 in people with diabetes and the risks for long COVID, all funded by NIH (NIDDK 3U01 DK119083).
  • Multiple interventional trials using various diabetes technologies, including artificial pancreas or new agents to reverse cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes, and access to optimal, personalized care in all people with diabetes

Learn more.

Dr. Busui is primary mentor for several early-career investigators, three of whom had K23 grants funded in the last year:

Clinical guideline related papers