Skip to main content

Michael R Rickels MD MS

Dr. Rickels conducts patient-oriented diabetes research that aims at understanding the pathogenesis of different types of diabetes and the in vivo mechanisms of new diabetes treatments. Dr. Rickels' studies involve methodologies for quantifying insulin secretion, insulin sensitivity, and glucose counterregulatory responses to hypoglycemia, and include the frequently-sampled intravenous glucose tolerance test, the glucose-potentiated arginine test, and hyperinsulinemic euglycemic and hypoglycemic clamps. Present work in Type 1 Diabetes is focused on patients with long-standing disease and is examining the effects of isolated islet transplantation on insulin secretion and sensitivity, and the effects of islet transplantation or real-time continuous glucose monitoring on glucose counterregulatory defenses against hypoglycemia. Current work in Type 2 Diabetes is focused on understanding early defects in insulin secretion, the impact on early impairments of different strategies for enhancing GLP-1 effects, and the mechanisms of diabetes associated with atypical antipsychotic drugs. Additional work is directed at investigating genetic determinants of insulin secretory reserve in humans and on understanding the pathophysiologic defects involved in the etiology of Cystic Fibrosis Related Diabetes in order to inform novel treatment approaches.

Dr. Rickels specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes, hypoglycemia disorders, and general endocrinologic problems. Dr. Rickels predominantly cares for patients with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, and is particularly interested in islet and pancreas transplantation as therapies for Type 1 Diabetes, as well as islet autotransplantation for patients undergoing total pancreatectomy. Dr. Rickels serves as Medical Director for the Pancreatic Islet Cell Transplantation program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Coupled to his research interests in islet and pancreas transplantation, and in glucose sensing and insulin pump technologies, Dr. Rickels is committed to translating complimentary approaches for cellular and artifical pancreas replacement as treatments for patients with difficult to control Type 1 and Pancreatogenic Diabetes.