Outracing an Epidemic

Target Diabetes
Members of the Diabetes Trust Fund board at the groundbreaking ceremony for UAB's diabetes hospital in 1970.

In 1973, UAB opened the first public, university-affiliated diabetes hospital in the United States. Today, Birmingham is still the place to find the latest ideas in diabetes research and care. UAB’s Comprehensive Diabetes Center brings together researchers whose discoveries are paving the way for new treatments—and, potentially, a cure. The center’s work is especially important as the diabetes epidemic continues to grow in Alabama, which has the nation’s fourth highest rate of the disease.

Last year the National Institutes of Health designated UAB as one of only six Diabetes Research and Training Centers (DRTC) in the country. UAB’s DRTC concentrates on metabolic and vascular research, which is essential to preventing and controlling diabetes and its complications.


UAB also has opened two new comprehensive clinics—one for adults and another for adolescents transitioning to adult care—that employ new models of patient care. Patients can now see a team of specialists in one visit, ranging from endocrinologists to eye doctors to dieticians. This “one-stop shop” provides patients with coordinated care and eliminates multiple trips to the doctor—a primary reason why patients fail to follow up on their care.



Read more breakthrough stories in UAB Magazine.