Stephanie Therese Chung, M.B.B.S.
Lasker Clinical Research Scholar
Section on Pediatric Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism, Diabetes, Endocrinology, & Obesity Branch
Our overall goal is to minimize the burden of diabetes health disparities across the lifespan through improving diabetes prevention and management. By elucidating the complex association of biological, social and environmental factors to the pathogenesis of cardiometabolic diseases, we will evaluate current paradigms and promote the development of novel screening and therapeutic strategies.
Type 2 diabetes is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide, especially in minority populations. Moreover, type 2 diabetes is no longer only an adult disease, it now accounts for ~50% of cases in African-American youth. In the United States, African-American women and adolescents have the highest rates of newly diagnosed diabetes and obesity and a high disease burden. To reduce this impact, early disease detection and treatment are vital, but the success of these programs rests with population-specific screening and therapeutic strategies. Our research program aims to delineate the contribution of biological, social and lifestyle factors to the risk for and the treatment of diabetes and cardiometabolic disease. Current projects focus on addressing diabetes health disparities in youth and young adults. Our protocols are evaluating reasons for metformin non-responsiveness while simultaneously investigating novel pharmacologic strategies and pharmacogenetic targets.
Applying our Research
Our research will help to identify the earliest signs of glucose dysregulation and treatment non-responsiveness to provide population-specific evidence for the development of diabetes screening and therapeutic strategies. Our research group also partners with various non-profit organizations and The Children’s National Medical Center in Washington DC to advocate for pediatric health and awareness of obesity and diabetes in the greater DC metro area.
Need for Further Study
Childhood obesity is a major public health concern and the most important risk factor for type 2 diabetes development in youth. The obesity epidemic is now observed even in groups of children who until recent years were faced with poor growth and undernutrition, e.g. childhood and adult survivors of severe congenital heart disease. A rapid decline in insulin secretion characterizes the increased rate of progression to type 2 diabetes and tools that can characterize the rapidity of this physiologic decompensation are urgently needed. In addition, oral treatment of type 2 diabetes in youth is limited to metformin, but metformin response is variable; up to 50% of youth require additional therapy to maintain glucose levels within the normal range. More research is needed to identify the possible reasons for metformin non-responsiveness and to inform new strategies for diabetes risk prediction and treatment in youth.
- Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, The Children's National Health System, 2015 – Present
- Pediatric Endocrinologist – Faculty, National Institutes of Health Clinical Center/ Eunice Kennedy Shriver Fellowship Training Program NICHD, NIH, 2013-Present
- Society for Pediatric Research, 2016
- Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 2013
- Pediatric Endocrinology Fellowship, Baylor College of Medicine, 2010-2013
- Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, 2005-2009
- M.B.B.S. (Hons.), University of the West Indies, Mona, 2003
- B.A. (Hons.), Knox College, 1998
- Chung ST, Katz LEL, Stettler-Davis N, Shults J, Sherman A, Ha J, Stefanovski D, Boston RC, Rader DJ, Magge SN. The Relationship Between Lipoproteins and Insulin Sensitivity in Youth With Obesity and Abnormal Glucose Tolerance. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2022;107(6):1541-1551.
- Chung ST, Matta ST, Meyers AG, Cravalho CK, Villalobos-Perez A, Dawson JM, Sharma VR, Sampson ML, Otvos JD, Magge SN. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Derived Biomarkers for Evaluating Cardiometabolic Risk in Youth and Young Adults Across the Spectrum of Glucose Tolerance. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021;12:665292.
- Cravalho CKL, Meyers AG, Mabundo LS, Courville A, Yang S, Cai H, Dai Y, Walter M, Walter PJ, Sharma S, Chacko S, Cogen F, Magge SN, Haymond MW, Chung ST. Metformin improves blood glucose by increasing incretins independent of changes in gluconeogenesis in youth with type 2 diabetes. Diabetologia. 2020;63(10):2194-2204.
- Meyers AG, Hudson J, Cravalho CKL, Matta ST, Villalobos-Perez A, Cogen F, Chung ST. Metformin treatment and gastrointestinal symptoms in youth: Findings from a large tertiary care referral center. Pediatr Diabetes. 2021;22(2):182-191.
- Chung ST, Cravalho CKL, Meyers AG, Courville AB, Yang S, Matthan NR, Mabundo L, Sampson M, Ouwerkerk R, Gharib AM, Lichtenstein AH, Remaley AT, Sumner AE. Triglyceride Paradox Is Related to Lipoprotein Size, Visceral Adiposity and Stearoyl-CoA Desaturase Activity in Black Versus White Women. Circ Res. 2020;126(1):94-108.
Related Scientific Focus Areas
Genetics and Genomics
This page was last updated on Monday, December 5, 2022