Louis Philipson MD - PhD - Kovler Diabetes Center

Louis Philipson, MD, PhD

Lou HeadshotJames C. Tyree Professor
Director, Kovler Diabetes Center
Professor of Medicine

Louis H. Philipson serves as President-elect, Medicine and Science for the American Diabetes Association (ADA) in 2018. He is Director of the Kovler Diabetes Center, and was recently named as the James C. Tyree Professor of Diabetes Research and Care in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Chicago.

A diabetologist and translational scientist with interests in beta cell biology, biophysics and genetics of diabetes, Dr. Philipson was part of the team that discovered insulin gene mutations causing neonatal diabetes, a novel class of mutations causing diabetes through beta-cell ER stress. These mutations are now known to be the second most common cause of permanent neonatal diabetes, as well as rare causes of later-onset diabetes. Dr. Philipson, together with his colleagues Drs. Graeme Bell, Siri Atma Greeley and Rochelle Naylor, established the leading United States registry for monogenic diabetes including neonatal diabetes and Mature Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY). Dr. Philipson was named one of America’s Top Doctors by U.S. News and World Report magazine, and Chicago Magazine named him a Top Doctor in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. His extensive body of work includes more than 180 peer-reviewed publications including letters, reviews, perspectives and chapters. He was recently named a recipient of the 2018 Order of Lincoln Award, which honors public service for the betterment of humanity in Illinois, the state’s highest civilian honor.

From 1996 to 1999 and again from 2008 to 2012, Dr. Philipson served on the editorial board of Diabetes, one of the ADA’s four scientific journals. He has volunteered with the ADA since 1997, and served on the Community Leadership Board (CLB) for Northern Illinois since 2008, as President of the CLB since 2012, and previously as a member of the national Board of Directors from 2009 to 2012.

Dr. Philipson earned his Bachelor of Arts in biochemistry from Harvard College, and his PhD, followed by his MD, from the University of Chicago, where he was also a Fellow in the section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism with Drs. D.F. Steiner, Graeme Bell and Kenneth Polonsky.

Clinical interests:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypoglycemia

Selected publications:

  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Science
  • Nature
  • Diabetes
  • American Journal of Physiology
  • Journal of Biological Chemistry


  • MD, University of Chicago
  • Internship and Residency, University of Chicago Medical Center

Selected honors and awards:

  • ADA Research Awards
  • National Disease Research Interchange (NDRI) Outstanding Scientist Award
  • 2011 Samuel Eichold II Memorial Award for Contributions in Diabetes, American College of Physicians

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