Graeme I. Bell, PhD

Kovler Family Distinguished Service Professor in Medicine and Human Genetics
Director, The University of Chicago Diabetes Research and Training Center

Dr. Bell is a leading authority on the genetics of diabetes mellitus. He cloned the human insulin cDNA and gene and showed that common variation in the human insulin gene contributes to the development of type 1 diabetes. He and his longtime collaborator, Dr. Nancy Cox, showed that mutations in the genes for the glycolytic enzyme, glucokinase, and the transcription factors, HNF-1a, HNF-1b and HNF-4a, caused an early-onset form of diabetes called Maturity-Onset Diabetes of the Young or MODY. Dr. Bell’s search for the genetic causes of diabetes continues. Together with Dr. Cox, Dr. Donald Steiner and Dr. Louis Philipson, Dr. Bell recently showed that mutations in the insulin gene were a common cause of diabetes with onset in the first few months of life.
Dr. Bell is a professor in the University of Chicago’s Department of Medicine and Department of Medicine and a member of the Committee on Genetics, Genomics, & Systems Biology, Committee on Molecular Pathogenesis & Molecular Medicine, Committee on Molecular Metabolism & Nutrition and Committee on Clinical & Translational Science. He has published more than 400 peer-reviewed articles.


  • BS, University of Calgary (Canada)
  • MS, University of Calgary (Canada)
  • PhD, University of California – San Francisco
  • Postdoctoral, University of California – San Francisco

Awards and Honors:

  • Elliot P. Joslin Research and Development Award – American Diabetes Association
  • Mary Jane Kugel Award – Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International
  • Rolf Luft Award – Swedish Medical Society
  • William C. Stadie Award of the Greater Philadelphia Affiliate of the American Diabetes Association
  • Kroc Lectureship – Diabetes Research Center, University of Washington
  • Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award by an Investigator (Lilly Award) – American Diabetes Association
  • Max Miller Memorial Lecture – Midwest Metabolism Club
  • Distinguished Alumni Award – University of Calgary
  • Roerig Pfizer Visiting Professor – The Diabetes Institutes, Eastern Virginia Medical School
  • Ray A. and Robert L. Kroc Lectureship – University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • 2nd Clifford Wilson Eli Lilly Diabetes Care Lecture – The Royal London Hospital, London, United Kingdom
  • 17th Archibald Byron Macallum Lecture – University of Toronto
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Unrestricted Grant Award (Cardiovascular Research)
  • Gerold and Kayla Grodsky Basic Research Scientist Award – Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International
  • Rolf Luft Lecturer for Outstanding Contribution to Diabetology – European Association for the Study of Diabetes, Stockholm
  • Banting Memorial Lecture – British Diabetic Association
  • AZA Lecture – Australian Diabetes Society, Sydney
  • Elected to The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Honorary Member, La Sociedad Argentina de Diabetes
  • Naomi Berrie Award for Outstanding Achievement in Diabetes Research – Columbia University, New York
  • Benjamin F. Stapleton, Jr. Lecture – University of Colorado Health Science Center, Denver
  • J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine (shared with C. Ronald Kahn and Åke Lernmark)
  • Distinguished Open Lecture – The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
  • International Visiting Professorship, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe, Japan
  • Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics Visiting Professorship – University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
  • Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Grodsky Award and Lecture, Western Regional Islet Study Group Meeting
  • Inaugural Stefan S. Fajans Lecture in Diabetes – University of Michigan

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