Skip to main content
profile image for
  • Professor & Head, Laboratory for Diabetes and Diabetes-Related Research, The Center for Biomedical Science, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research
  • Professor of Molecular Medicine, Elmezzi Graduate School of Molecular Medicine
  • Professor of Medicine, Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell

About the investigator

Jesse Roth has actively worked in this field for fifty years at major centers in the USA. His work has been recognized with awards for highest scientific achievement from the Endocrine Society and from the American Diabetes Association (as well as other major organizations in the field). He is author of many hundreds of publications, which appear regularly in established professional journals; many have been cited because of their special impact in the field.

Research focus

The world wide pandemic of obesity and diabetes now affects adolescents and children as well as adults in developing as well as industrialized nations. These two conditions and their complications affect the structure and function of nearly all tissues in the body, resulting in morbidity, cognitive decline, accelerated aging, and premature death.

How can we diagnose diabetes earlier

By the time a patient’s blood glucose level crosses the line to trigger the standard diagnosis of diabetes, cells all over the body (including those in the brain) have already sustained substantial damage. Some of this early damage is irreversible, even with excellent care subsequently. We have found that individual patients maintain blood glucose (and hemoglobin A1c, a surrogate for glucose) in a narrow range. We are testing the hypothesis that both of these markers break out of their tight range and start a slow but inexorable march upwards (a condition we label “dysglycemia” in the 3-5 years before diabetes is diagnosable). Likewise, basal levels of insulin (and C-peptide, a surrogate measure of insulin secretion) rise out of their own narrow ranges in the 5-10 years before diabetes is diagnosable (a condition we label “dysinsulinemia”). We suspect that diet and exercise, introduced early can slow or prevent the progression from dysinsulinemia and dysglycemia to bona fide diabetes.

The Microbiome

Starting at birth, each of us regularly hosts hundreds of trillions of microbes, roughly ten times more numerous than our own cells, referred to as the microbiome. While their existence has been known for almost five hundred years, it has been only in the last decade with new technology and insights that their importance is starting to emerge. Indeed, the NIH has singled it out as a major new focus of research. With the world wide pandemic of obesity, particular interest is being paid to the changes in the populations of microbes in the intestinal tract along with changes in microbial metabolism in obese and thin subjects and in association with changes in diets. We have recently discovered that E. coli, a representative bacterium resident in the intestine, when grown in isolation, releases a peptide that mimics melanocortin, a human hormone that plays a key role in inflammation, appetite regulation, and food intake. (Humans who lack melanocortin or one of the five types of melanocortin receptors are massively obese). These studies suggest that the microbes of the gut, in addition to contributing to the host’s metabolism and energy balance, may be providing hormone-like signals to the host’s cells.

Lab members

Syed Faizan Mehdi, MD
Research Associate
Email: [email protected]

Navneet Sahota, DO
Research Assistant
Email: [email protected]


Columbia University, NY
Degree: BA

Albert Einstein College of Medicine, NY
Degree: MD

Washington University (Barnes Hospital), St. Louis, MO
Degree: Residency

Bronx VA Medical Center (with SA Berson & RS Yalow = 1977 Nobel)
Degree: Research Fellow


  • 1965-1966 Chief of Diabetes Section 1966-1974
  • 1963-1965 Senior Investigator
  • 1963-1974 Clinical Endocrinology Branch, National Institute of Arthritis, Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health (Chief of Service – Jacob Robbins): Clinical Associate
  • 1974-1983 Chief, Diabetes Branch, National Institute of Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases,
  • National Institutes of Health; (Scientific Director – Joseph E. Rall)
  • 1983-1991 Director, Division of Intramural Research, National Institute of Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health; Section Chief in the Diabetes Branch
  • 1985-1991 Assistant Surgeon General, United States Public Health Service
  • 1990-2000 Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • 1991-1998 Raymond and Anna Lublin Professor of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Director, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology and of Center on Aging
  • 1998-1999 President and Chief Executive Officer, The Picower Institute for Medical Research, Manhasset, NY; Professor, The Picower Graduate School of Molecular Medicine
  • 2000-2006 Geriatrician-in-Chief, Northwell Health, Manhasset, New York; Associate Director, NIH-funded General Clinical Research Center, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research
  • 2000-Present Investigator, Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, Northwell Health
  • 2000-Present Professor of Medicine, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Honors & awards

  • 1968 Maryland Academy of Sciences Distinguished Young Scientist
  • 1974 Eli Lilly Award of the American Diabetes Association
  • 1974 Service Honor Award of the United States Department of Health, Education and Welfare
  • 1974 Ernst Oppenheimer Memorial Award of the Endocrine Society
  • 1977 David Rumbough Memorial Award for Scientific Achievement, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation
  • 1978 G. Burroughs Mider Lectureship Award, National Institutes of Health
  • 1979 First Annual Lita Annenberg Hazen Award for Superior Achievement in Research, NY
  • 1979 Diaz Cristobal Prize presented at the International Diabetes Federation meeting
  • 1979 Berson-Yalow Award of the Society of Nuclear Medicine
  • 1980 Who’s Who in America
  • 1980 Gairdner Foundation Annual Award, Toronto, Canada (Scientific Achievement)
  • 1980 Distinguished Service Medal of the U.S. Public Health Service
  • 1980 A. Cressy Morrison Award, New York Academy of Science
  • 1981 Joslin Medal, New England Affiliate, American Diabetes Association
  • 1982 Mellon Award, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
  • 1982 Harvey Lecture
  • 1982 First recipient of alumni Achievement Award, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • 1982 Banting Medal, American Diabetes Association, highest award for scientific achievement
  • 1982 American Academy of Arts and Sciences, elected fellow
  • 1983 Otto Brandman Award, American Diabetes Association – New Jersey Affiliate
  • 1985 Koch Award, Endocrine Society, highest award for scientific achievement
  • 1987 Alpha Omega Alpha Award, University of Puerto Rico
  • 1988 Steven C. Beering Award for Advancement of Biomedical Science, Indiana University
  • 1988 National Medical Research Award, National Health Council, Washington, D.C.
  • 1991 Lukens Award of the American Diabetes Association, Pennsylvania affiliate
  • 1992 Elected, Honorary Member, Interurban Clinical Club
  • 1993 Albert Renold Award American Diabetes Association for mentoring
  • 2001 Italian Diabetes Society: Inaugural Award for Outstanding Mentoring of Young Researchers
  • 2001 Endocrine Society: Robert H. Williams Distinguished Leadership Award for mentoring
  • 2004 NIH Symposium: Celebrating the Diabetes Branch: A tribute to Jesse Roth and Phil Gorden
  • 2006 Elected Honorary Member, European Association for the Study of Diabetes
  • 2012 Honorary doctorate, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
  • 2012 Competitive Faculty Award of the Feinstein Institutes for high quality contributions
  • 2013 Delbert A. Fisher Research Scholar Award, Endocrine Society
  • 2014 Honorary doctorate, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel


  1. Qiang X., Liotta AS., Shiloach J., Gutierrez JC., Wang H., Ochani M., Ochani K., Yang H., Rabin A., LeRoith D., Lesniak MA., Danoff A., Bohm M., Maaser C., Kanengiesser K., Donowitz M., Rabizadeh S., Czura CJ., Tracey KJ., Westlake M., Roth J. “The microbiota as an endocrine organ: New melanocortin peptide native to E. coli can suppress inflammation via the host’s melanocortin-1-receptor.” (MC1-R). In Review.
  2. Bergman M., Roth J., Chetrit A., Dankner R. “Reducing the prevalence of dysglycemia: Is the time ripe to test the effectiveness of intervention in high-risk individuals with elevated 1-hour post-load glucose levels?” 2017 in press.
  3. Dufurrena Q., Amjad FM., Scherer PE., Weiss LM., Nagajyothi J., Roth J., Tanowitz HB., Kuliawat R. “Alterations in pancreatic beta cell function and Trypanosoma cruzi infection: Evidence from human and animal studies.” Parasitol Res. 2016 Dec 24.
  4. Roth J., Sahota N., Patel P., Mehdi SF., Wiese MW., Mahboob HB., Bravo M., Eden DJ., Bashir MA., Kumar A., Alsaati F., Kurland IJ., Brima W., Danoff A., Szulc AL., Pavlov VA., Tracey KJ., Yang H. “Obesity paradox, obesity orthodox, and the metabolic syndrome: An approach to unity.” Mol Med. 2016 Nov 16;22.
  5. Bergman M., Chetrit A., Roth J., Jagannathan R., Sevick M., Dankner R. “One-hour post-load plasma glucose level during the OGTT predicts dysglycemia: Observations from the 24year follow-up of the Israel Study of Glucose Intolerance, Obesity, and Hypertension.” Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2016 Oct; 120:221-8.
  1. Hudson LK., Dancho ME., Li J., Bruchfeld JB., Ragab AA., He MM., Bragg M., Lenaghan D., Quinn MD., Fritz JR., Tanzi MV., Silverman HA., Hanes WM., Levine YA., Pavlov VA., Olofsson PS., Roth J., Al-Abed Y., Andersson U., Tracey KJ., Chavan SS. “Emetine Di-HCl attenuates Type 1 diabetes mellitus in mice.” Mol Med. 2016 Jun 10;22. Doi: 10.2119/molmed.2016.00082.
  2. Yang H., Wang H., Levine YA., Gunasekaran MK., Wang Y., Addorisio M., Zhu S., Li W., Li J., de Kleijn DP., Olofsson PS., Warren HS., He M., Al-Abed Y., Roth J., Antoine DJ., Chavan SS., Andersson U., Tracey KJ. “Identification of CD163 as an anti-inflammatory receptor for HMGB1-haptoglobin complexes.” JCI Insight. 2016;1(7).
  3. Jagannathan R., Sevick MA., Fink D., Dankner R., Chetrit A., Roth J., Buysschaert M., Bergman M. “The 1-hour post-load glucose level is more effective than HbA1c for screening dysglycemia.” Acta Diabetol. 2016 Jan 21.
  4. Jagannathan R., Sevick MA., LiH., Fink D., Dankner R., Chetrit A., Roth J., Bergman M. “Elevated 1-hour plasma glucose levels are associated with dysglycemia, impaired beta-cell function, and insulin sensitivity: a pilot study from a real world health care setting.” 2016 Apr;52(1): 172-5. doi: 10.1007/s12020-015-0746-z. Epub 2015 Sep 29.
  5. Dankner R., Shanik M., Roth J., Luski A., Lubin F., Chetrit A. “Sex and ethnic-origin specific BMI cut points improve prediction of 40-year mortality: the Israel GOH study.” Diabetes Metab Res Rev.2015 Jul;31(5):530-6. Doi: 10.1002/dmrr.2642. Epub 2015 May 12.
  6. Brima W., Eden J.D., Mehdi F.S., Bravo M., Wiese M.M., Stein J., Almonte V., Zhao D., Kurland I., Pessin E.J., Zima T., Tanowitz B.H., Weiss M.L., Roth J., Nagajyothi F. (2015). “The brighter (and evolutionarily older) face of the metabolic syndrome: Evidence from Trypanosoma cruzi infection in CD-1 mice.” Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2015 May; 31(4):346-59. Doi: 10.1002/dmrr.2636. Epub 2015 Mar 6.
  7. Dankner R., Roth J. (2015). “The personalized approach for detecting prediabetes and diabetes.” Curr Diabetes Rev, 2016;12(1):58-65
  8. Yang H., Wang H., Ju Z., Ragab A.A., Lundback P., Long W., Valdes-Ferrer S.I., He M., Pribis J.P., Li J., Lu B., Gero D., Szabo C., Antoine D.J., Harris H.E., Golenbock D.T., Meng J., Roth J., Chavan S.S., Andersson U., Billiar T.R., Tracey K.J., Al-Abed Y. (2015). “MD-2 is required for disulfide HMGB1-dependent TLR4 signaling.” J Exp Med. pii: jem.20141318.
  9. Bergman M., Chetrit A., Roth J., Dankner R. (2014). “Dysglycemia and long-term mortality: Observations from the Israel study of glucose intolerance, obesity and hypertension.” Diabetes Metab Res Rev. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.2618.
  10. Qureshi S., Galiveeti S., Bichet D.G., Roth J. (2014). “Diabetes insipidus: Celebrating a century of vasopressin therapy.” Endocrinology, 155(12): 4605-21. doi: 10.1210/en.2014-1385.
Read more