Sudha Biddinger, MD, PhD

2011 DICP Faculty Fellowship Alumni

SUDHA BIDDINGER, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School; Children’s Hospital Boston, Endocrinology Division

Mentor: David E. Cohen, M.D., Ph.D., Robert H. Ebert Associate Professor of Medicine and Health Sciences and Technology, Harvard Medical School; Director of Hepatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital; Director, Harvard-Massachusetts Institute of Technology Division of Health Sciences and Technology

Department Chair: Joseph Majzoub, M.D., Thomas Morgan Rotch Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School; Chief, Division of Endocrinology, Children’s Hospital Boston

Project Title: The Effects of Diabetes on the Efficacy of Statins

Project Description:

Statins are among the most highly prescribed drugs in our nation. They act by inhibiting HMG CoA Reductase (HMGCR), the rate-determining enzyme of cholesterol synthesis.  Type 2 diabetic patients are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and statins have been convincingly shown to decrease LDL and CVD risk in these patients. Type 1 diabetic patients are also at high risk for CVD, and based on studies of Type 2 diabetes patients, it has been suggested that Type 1 patients also be treated with statins. However, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are pathogenically distinct disorders.  Based on our published and preliminary data, we hypothesize that insulin is necessary for statins to exert their effects on cholesterol metabolism, and that statins may therefore be less effective in Type 1 diabetes patients, who lack insulin, than Type 2 diabetes patients, who are hyperinsulinemic. The goal of these studies is to determine how diabetes modifies the response to statins using mouse models of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. This will set the stage for our further studies of statins and lipoprotein metabolism in Type 1 diabetic patients. This proposal challenges the current dogma that all diabetic patients be treated with statins and may ultimately change our strategies for the treatment of Type 1 diabetic patients.

Biography:

Dr. Sudha Biddinger obtained her undergraduate degree from Princeton University, and her M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.  She performed her residency training in pediatrics and fellowship training in pediatric endocrinology at Children’s Hospital Boston. Her post-doctoral work was conducted in the lab of Dr. Ronald Kahn, at Joslin Diabetes Center.  She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Endocrinology Division of Children’s Hospital Boston.  The mission of her lab is to define the mechanisms by which diabetes, specifically defects in insulin signaling, promote atherosclerosis.