UC Riverside

Michael Pirrung

Michael Pirrung

Envisioning a New Treatment for Diabetes

Dr. Michael Pirrung has a new vision for treating diabetes — an orally-administered, naturally-occurring alternative to insulin.

Diabetes afflicts 20.8 million people in the U.S., or 7% of the population. The incidence of diabetes is growing at an alarming rate, especially considering the serious and sometimes life-threatening complications of the disease. The World Health Organization predicts there will be over 300 million diabetics worldwide by 2025.

Good diabetes control is the primary treatment for the disease. Treatment includes a daily regimen of insulin, largely in injected form. Pirrung, a UCR professor and University of California Presidential Chair in chemistry, with his research team have identified new insulin-like molecules shown to activate the insulin receptor, simulating insulin's ability to stimulate glucose uptake. Their findings will guide the next generation of more potent and specific-acting formulations.

Pirrung is a pioneer in the field of microarrays, which have important biological applications in genetic research. The European Patent Office named Pirrung the European Inventor of the Year 2006 for his role in the revolutionary microarray technological advance. His many other contributions to advancing health and biochemical sciences include a chemical understanding of agents that keep fruit fresh, and how stem cells can more easily and cheaply be produced for biomedical research.

View Professor Michael Pirrung's faculty profile.

Read about Pirrung's grants and research.

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