May 12, 2023

UAB welcomes renowned diabetes researchers Ananda and Rita Basu

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Drs. Ananda and Rita BasuDrs. Ananda and Rita Basu

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Heersink School of Medicine and the UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center (UCDC) are pleased to welcome Ananda Basu, M.D., and Rita Basu, M.D., as full professors into the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism.

They are also being appointed as senior scientists of the UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center (UCDC) and Hugh Kaul Precision Medicine Institute (PMI). In addition, Dr. Rita Basu will serve as a chair of the UAB Institutional Review Board and Dr. Ananda Basu will serve as the director of the UAB Diabetes Technology Programs.

Ananda and Rita are both world class clinician scientists in diabetes. Their joining UAB is a result of the successful Strategic Recruitment Initiative of the Heersink School of Medicine and the UCDC, initiating a new phase of growth in diabetes research.

“We are thrilled to welcome both Drs. Ananda and Rita Basu to the UAB Heersink School of Medicine,” said Anupam Agarwal M.D., senior vice president for medicine and dean of the Heersink School of Medicine. “Ananda and Rita are an incredible team and outstanding researchers. We are glad they now will call UAB home.”

UCDC Director Anath Shalev, M.D., is delighted that Drs. Ananda and Rita Basu will join the center.

“Drs. Rita and Ananda Basu are such a wonderful addition to the UAB Comprehensive Diabetes Center,” said Shalev. “As world-renowned researchers, they each bring unique and invaluable knowledge and expertise in using sophisticated tracer studies to study Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in humans. We are very much looking forward to the many collaborative opportunities that Rita’s and Ananda’s recruitment creates across the center, with the Hugh Kaul Precision Medicine Institute, and across campus.”

More about Dr. Rita BasuDr. Rita Basu

Rita began her journey in clinical research in the integrative physiology of carbohydrate and hormone metabolism of Type 2 diabetes and prediabetes at the Mayo Clinic where she rose through the ranks becoming a full professor in the Division of Endocrinology in 2012.

After spending over two decades at the Mayo Clinic, Rita was recruited to the University of Virginia in fall 2017, where she served as a professor in the Division of Endocrinology and is the Clinical education director of the Center of Diabetes Technology.

 Rita had a long and productive career as an expert in the Ethics of Human Research and Human subject protection at Mayo Clinic.

Besides serving as a chair of the Mayo Clinic Institutional Review Board (IRB) for more than 10 years, Rita was also the associate medical director of the Human Research Protection Program and was responsible for the accreditation of the Mayo health system IRB. At the University of Virginia, Rita was again the chair of the IRB and made significant improvements, reforms and modernized the review process.

Rita will continue her contributions to human subject protection at UAB by serving as chair of one of UAB’s three local IRBs, as well as the inaugural medical director of the UAB Office of the IRB.

“The safe and ethical conduct of research and the protection of those who generously participate in our research to advance science are matters of utmost importance,” said Christopher Brown, Ph.D., vice president for research. “We are grateful for the expertise that Dr. Basu brings to UAB where she will join a committed team of professionals to continue UAB’s legacy of protecting those who participate in research at UAB.”

Rita serves as the principal investigator on several projects, both NIH and industry funded, including one that seeks to understand insulin resistance in humans that is currently in the 40th year of continuous funding. She has also pioneered, refined and validated a state of the art isotope dilution method to accurately estimate postprandial carbohydrate metabolism in humans.

In addition, Rita has received multiple large educational grants to train the next generation of diabetologists and primary practitioners on the application of diabetes technology. She has also been an active researcher in the field of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and has co-authored management guidelines for NASH/NAFLD for endocrinologists. She has recently edited a textbook on Precision Medicine of Diabetes. 

Rita’s work has produced around 175 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals and has presented more than 150 abstracts in national and International Scientific meetings. She serves on the editorial board of the prestigious American Journal of Physiology as well as the high-impact American Diabetes Association journal Diabetes Care.

More about Dr. Ananda BasuDr. Ananda Basu

Ananda held several leadership positions spanning almost three decades at the Mayo Clinic, rising through the ranks to full professor of medicine. Before joining UAB, Ananda was an endowed professor of medicine as well as a clinical investigator at UVA.

Ananda serves as the principal investigator/co-investigator on multiple NIH projects. These currently include one that aims to recreate an electronic beta cell for those with Type 1 diabetes; another that seeks to further understand glucagon secretion and its metabolism in humans with and without Type 1 diabetes; another that seeks to investigate the effects of closed loop insulin therapy on postprandial carbohydrate metabolism as adolescents go through puberty.

Ananda’s primary research focus is to better understand glucose and glucagon physiology in Type 1 diabetes with the ultimate goal to help develop the next generation of artificial endocrine pancreas that re-creates as closely as possible a truly functional islet. His work aims to expand understanding of glucagon physiology on developing a closed loop glucagon infusion therapy to prevent hypoglycemia in patients with post bariatric surgery hypoglycemia syndrome.

As a dedicated clinician, Ananda established a Transplant Endocrine, a Cardio-Metabolic Clinic, and a Diabetes Technology Clinic at the Mayo Clinic. At Mayo Clinic, he also led the Hospital Diabetes Management team for more than a decade while protocolizing and standardizing care of the hyperglycemic hospitalized patient, improved safety and quality of care and reduced diabetes related sentinel events drastically during his tenure.

Many of the process improvements that Ananda helped implement has been incorporated across the Mayo enterprise including its satellite locations across the U.S. At UVA Health, he set up a similar multi-disciplinary, Diabetes Technology Clinical program to facilitate the use of continuous glucose monitors and closed loop systems for individuals with Type 1 diabetes.

At UAB, Ananda will maintain a busy clinical practice with the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism while leading his clinical research.

Ananda has authored close to 200 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals and presented more than 150 scientific abstracts in national and International scientific meetings. He has also served on the editorial board of Diabetes Care and as an associate editor of the Diabetes Technology and Therapeutics journal.

Drs. Ananda and Rita Basu are world experts in the development of innovative isotope modeling techniques to study whole body human metabolism and physiology. Both are members of the American Diabetes Association, The Endocrine Society, and the American Physiological Society.

Department of Medicine Chair and Spencer Chair in Medical Science Leadership Seth Landefeld, M.D., looks forward to welcoming the Basu duo to the Department of Medicine.

“We are fortunate to welcome this dynamic duo to the Deep South where so many people have diabetes and suffer its effects. We anticipate tremendous advances in our care for patients with diabetes — as well as discoveries that will improve care in the future and will serve the needs of our community.”    

Echoing Landefeld’s sentiments, Director of the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, and Metabolism Fernando Ovalle, M.D., is pleased to have the Basus become part of the division’s clinical research efforts.

“We could not be more excited to have Drs. Ananda and Rita Basu join our growing division,” said Ovalle. “I know that Andy will provide outstanding care to his patients and that both Andy and Rita will continue to advance clinical diabetes research at UAB.”