Division of Endocrinology Research and Innovation

Here in the Division of Endocrinology at Boston Children’s Hospital, we understand that children with endocrine disorders face unique challenges. 

Our program brings together experienced pediatric endocrinologists, endocrinology nurses, diabetes nurse educators, registered dietitians and mental health professionals to guide you and your family from diagnosis through the early challenges of managing your child’s condition. 

Your child’s medical team will build a customized plan of treatment designed to keep your child healthy — and allow her to enjoy the wonders of childhood.

Throughout the entire treatment process, you’ll receive compassionate family-centered care from a truly integrated medical team. We can see you either at our Boston campus or at one of several locations throughout Eastern Massachusetts.

Among the services we provide:

  • The pediatric endocrinologists, specialist diabetes nurse educators and dietitians in our Type 1 Diabetes Program work together as a team to design a customized plan of care for your child.
  • We are one of the only medical centers in the country offering a dedicated, multidisciplinary program for type 2 diabetes.
  • We can evaluate your child’s bone density — safely and painlessly — in our Bone Health Program’s state-of-the-art DXA (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry) Center

Innovation and Care

At Boston Children’s, we believe in innovative programs that treat the person as well as the disease:

  • Our Optimal Weight for Life (OWL) Program has been recognized as one of the most comprehensive pediatric obesity programs in the country inCHILD Magazine's surveys of the best U.S. children's hospitals.
  • Our Thyroid Program is one of the only centers in the United States exclusively devoted to the care of children with thyroid diseases.

Our team also includes researchers, devoted to finding new treatments and cures, who have:

  • sparked new hope for a treatment for obesity by regulating leptin levels 
  • identified new genes never before thought to be linked to obesity
  • helped explain an important paradox in the relationship between insulin level and longevity

Excellence in Care

Boston Children's Hospital has been ranked in Diabetes and Endocrinology in U.S. News & World Report.

Further Research

Boston Children's Hospital's Division of Endocrinology operates one of the nation's most extensive research programs focused on pediatric endocrine disorders. With more than 50 basic science and clinical researchers, we are attempting to unravel the genetic and biochemical underpinnings of the endocrine system.

We are constantly studying new ways to preventing premature births, improve diabetes management, control obesity, enhance our knowledge and treatment of growth and development disorders, and address other endocrine malfunctions that affect the health and quality of life of children.

Here are some of the projects we’ve been working on:

  • Identifying the genetic causes of endocrine diseases (including short stature and obesity)
  • Researching the causes and treatment of obesity by studying diets characterized by a “high glycemic index”
  • Evaluating methods to slow down aging and prevent cancer by regulating insulin signaling in the brain
  • Developing treatments for type 1 diabetes that do not require insulin
  • Studying the role of blood sugar control in ensuring the best outcomes for patients in the intensive care unit
  • Developing drugs that treat obesity by regulating leptin levels
  • Identifying potential sources of stem cells in endocrine organs to eventually replace diseased tissue

Research opportunities within Children's Hospital Division of Endocrinology and Joslin Diabetes Center include a wide variety of projects at the level of patient-oriented research, isolated genes, cells, and intact organisms that include transgenic, knockout, and knockin mouse models of human diseases.

Did you know?

Reduced insulin signaling hampers insulin’s ability to manage the transfer of energy from the bloodstream to the cell. But a study led by Boston Children’s researcher Morris White, PhD, indicates that this may be true only in the body — in the brain, reduced insulin signaling is linked with increased longevity. What is the easiest way to keep insulin signaling in the brain low? Good old-fashioned exercise.

Our taste for sugar evolved as a response to the drive of plants to reproduce. Seed-bearing fruits were infused with sugar, rich in available energy and used by every cell in the body, in an effort to keep the fruit-eaters strong. Humans grew to associate sweetness with goodness, and the “sugar tooth” was born.