La Jolla Institute scientist named World’s #1 Expert in Juvenile Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables one to obtain energy from food. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, called beta cells. While its causes are not yet entirely understood, scientists believe that both genetic factors and environmental triggers are involved. Approximately three million Americans have type 1 diabetes, and each year approximately 30,000 children and 30,000 adults are diagnosed with this disease.

Expertscape is a healthcare information website that enables healthcare consumers to identify medical professionals and institutions having the greatest knowledge about a particular medical problem. Expertscape’s patented analysis of peer-reviewed publications identifies and ranks the most knowledgeable and experienced researchers and clinicians in many specific topics.

Expertscape’s comprehensive results for expertise in type 1 diabetes covered thousands of specialists worldwide, with Dr. von Herrath earning the number one spot. This announcement is being made in conjunction with the American Diabetes Association’s 74th Scientific Sessions, the largest diabetes-specific meeting in the world held to share cutting-edge research, treatment recommendations, and advances toward a cure for diabetes.

Dr. von Herrath is head of the Diabetes Research Center at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology. He has made several important scientific advances and has been recognized on numerous occasions for his groundbreaking achievements. He is the recipient of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s prestigious Scholar Award, and in 2008 he received the Outstanding Scientific Achievement Award from the American Diabetes Association.

Dr. von Herrath joined the La Jolla Institute as a faculty member in the Division of Developmental Immunology in 2001. He received his M.D. in Medicine from the Freiburg Medical School in Freiburg, Germany, and went to The Scripps Research Institute for his postdoctoral studies prior to joining the La Jolla Institute. Dr. von Herrath is also an Adjunct Professor in UC San Diego’s Department of Pediatrics.

Due to his renowned research on type 1 diabetes, Dr. von Herrath was appointed as head of a translational diabetes center that opened in 2012 in Seattle at Novo Nordisk, a global healthcare company focused on diabetes treatment. Focused on the development of type 1 diabetes immunotherapies, Dr. von Herrath’s position allows him to realize his dream of playing a key role in clinical trials on potential type 1 diabetes treatments, while continuing to lead his distinguished research program at the La Jolla Institute.

Founded in 1988, the La Jolla Institute for Immunology is a biomedical research nonprofit focused on improving human health through increased understanding of the immune system. Its scientists carry out research seeking new knowledge leading to the prevention of disease through vaccines and the treatment and cure of infectious diseases, cancer, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 (juvenile) diabetes, Crohn’s disease and asthma. La Jolla Institute’s research staff includes more than 150 Ph.D.s and M.D.s. To learn more about the Institute’s work, visit