BOSTON – (February 23, 2016) – Rohit N. Kulkarni, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Investigator in the Section on Islet Cell and Regenerative Biology at Joslin Diabetes Center, has been named Professor of Medicine by Harvard Medical School. 

Dr. Kulkarni’s research focuses on investigating signaling pathways impacting growth and function of pancreatic islet cells with the long-term goal of improving therapeutic approaches for the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes and obesity-associated conditions. Dr. Kulkarni’s lab also focuses on the role of growth factor signalling in the renewal and differentiation of embryonic stem (ES) cells and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells with the aim of studying mechanisms that underlie differentiation into pancreatic endocrine cells.

“Dr. Kulkarni has made many seminal scientific discoveries throughout his career. He is internationally recognized for his work with beta cell growth and regeneration, a topic that is critical to the treatment and cure of diabetes,” said George King, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer at Joslin Diabetes Center and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “We are excited to have Dr. Kulkarni as a faculty member at Joslin and look forward to collaborating with him in the years to come.” 

Dr. Kulkarni joined Joslin and the Harvard Medical School faculty in 1999. He has held several leadership roles at Joslin, including the Director of the Diabetes Endocrinology Research Center (DERC) Specialized Assay Core from 2002 to 2012. Currently, Dr. Kulkarni serves as the Associate Director of the induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPS) Core of the DRC at Joslin. In his own lab, he mentors post-doctoral fellows, graduate students and visiting scientists in addition to supervising research assistants. 

Dr. Kulkarni contributes to the educational symposia organized by Joslin, the American Diabetes Association, and the JDRF in the areas of diabetes and obesity in addition to symposia organized by Harvard Stem Cell Institute in the area of stem cells and is a faculty member of the BBS Program at Harvard Medical School. He also serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Clinical Investigation, Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Dr. Kulkarni’s other notable accomplishments include:

• Distinction in Biochemistry from Bangalore Medical College and  Bangalore University in 1986
• Recipient of the Young Scientist Award from the  National Institute of Nutrition in India in 1990
• Recipient of the Weston Scholarship and Overseas Research Students (ORS) Award from the Royal Hammersmith Hospital in London from 1991 to 1994
• Recipient of the Endocrine Society Ernst Oppenheimer Laureate Award in 2007 
• Elected member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation in 2007
• Recipient of the Endocrine Society’s Visiting Professorship of Endogenous Pancreas Preservation in 2010 
• Recipient of the James H. Horner Distinguished Professorship in 2014
• Elected member of the Association of American Physicians in 2014
• Nominated for Prof. M.S.S. Ahuja Oration, Research Society for Study of Diabetes in India, 2015

Dr. Kulkarni received his medical degree and doctorate of philosophy from St. John's Medical College and the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, University of London, England respectively. While pursuing his doctoral thesis on regulatory peptides modulating islet function in Sir Steve Bloom's laboratory in England, Dr. Kulkarni trained in the Diabetes Unit at Hammersmith Hospital in London. 

He moved to Boston where he obtained the F32 National Research Scholarship Award (NIH) and completed a Post-Doctoral Fellowship in the laboratory of C. Ronald Kahn, M.D., Chief Academic Officer and Senior Investigator at Joslin Diabetes Center and the Mary K. Iacocca Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.