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Dana Dabelea MD, PhD

Associate Dean of Research, Conrad M. Riley Endowed Professor, Director (LEAD Center)
  • Colorado School of Public Health - Office of the Dean
  • Department of Epidemiology
  • Lifecourse Epidemiology of Adiposity & Diabetes Center

Dr. Dana Dabelea is the Conrad M. Riley Endowed Professor of epidemiology, professor of pediatrics, and director of the Lifecourse Epidemiology of Adiposity and Diabetes (LEAD) Center. For nearly 20 years, Dr. Dabelea has focused on the rising rate of type 2 diabetes in youth, and is the author of one of the first papers to highlight this trend. Originally from Romania, she trained as a physician diabetologist, completed a clinical science PhD, and then went on to spend two years of postdoctoral studies at the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) where she focused on diabetes research among the Pima Indians. It was there that she became interested in the rising rates of type 2 diabetes, particularly in youth. Dr. Dabelea's research looking at diabetes during pregnancy led her to believe that a life course approach to diabetes with a specific focus on pediatric diabetes, could increase the likelihood of identifying early risk factors for the disease, as well as its progression, before chronic complications can develop.

Areas of Expertise

  • Lifecourse epidemiology
  • Pediatric obesity
  • Type 1 and type 2 diabetes
  • Diabetes prevention
  • Native American health

Education, Licensure & Certifications

  • Postdoctoral Fellowship Epidemiology, National Institutes of Health Diabetes Epidemiology and Field Studies Epidemiology, Phoenix, AZ, 1997-1999
  • PhD, Clinical Sciences, University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Timisoara, Romania, 1992-1997
  • Residency, Internal Medicine, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara, Romania, 1991-1994
  • MD, University of Medicine and Pharmacy Timisoara, Romania, 1984-1990



  • 2017 Kelly West Award in Diabetes Epidemiology, American Diabetes Association
  • 2017 Elizabeth Gee Memorial Award, University of Colorado
  • 2014 Graduate School Mentoring Award, CU Anschutz Medical Campus
  • 2013 Conrad Riley Endowed Professor, Colorado School of Public Health
  • 2010 Excellence in Faculty Research, Colorado School of Public Health


  • Chair, Scientific Planning Committee, American Diabetes Association, 2021-2023

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