Einstein-Mount Sinai Diabetes Research Center

Pilot & Feasibility Study Program

Contact Information

Streamson Chua, MD, PhD


The Pilot & Feasibility Study Program provides initial support for new investigators, for established investigators to explore new directions, and to enable the ES-DRC to attract scientists from other disciplines to diabetes research. The Pilot and Feasibility (P&F) Study Program is a vital component of the ES-DRC and has successfully promoted numerous new research endeavors in diabetes-related areas. This program constitutes a key interface with the Einstein, Mount Sinai and academic community at large, and serves as a major attraction in the recruitment process. Over the past 37 years the DRTC has funded 113 feasibility studies from a pool of 449 applications. Pilot and Feasibility funds enable investigators to generate preliminary data to provide the basis for seeking extramural funding for their projects. See below for details of eligibility and the application process.

In addition to the Pilot & Feasibility Study Program, and under the same administrative umbrella, we have established a micro-grant award program that provides specific support for the use of ES-DRC Core facilities. RFA’s for this program are issued as available on the DRC website and the Einstein and Mt. Sinai websites. We have also established a catalytic seed grant program with the CTSA to support diabetes-specific translation research. See the Einstein CTSA website for details. These value added programs further enhances diabetes directed research efforts and provides additional attractiveness of our center.

Application for Pilot and Feasibility Study Funding
  1. Applicants must be faculty members of Einstein College of Medicine, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine or other participating research institutions with current active members of ES-DRC. New Investigators are given the highest priority for funding.
  2. New faculty members are eligible irrespective of rank or past interests provided that their proposed P&F Studies do not overlap with concurrent extramural funding. Awarded funds are supplemental to resources provided to new recruits by the institution as "start-up packages". Awarded funds are mandated to enrich and promote diabetes research and cannot be used to fulfill institutional recruitment commitments.
  3. Established investigators are eligible provided that the proposed study adapts their expertise to a new focus of diabetes research or, alternatively, represents a significant and substantial departure from their current diabetes-related investigations.
  4. All diabetes-related subject matter is acceptable.
  5. An RFA is issued annually in November for applications with a deadline of February 1. Funding is from April 1 and up to two years. Details and Application Instructions  

Recent Pilot and Feasibility Program Studies


  • Streamson Chua, MD, PhD, Einstein
    FGF signaling and metabolic control
  • Liora S. Katz, PhD, Mt Sinai
    T3 and glucose signaling in β-cells and their effect on ChREBP mediated proliferation


  • Daorong Feng, PhD, MS BS
    A critical Role for SNAP23 in adipocyte cell viability
  • Victor Schuster, MD
    Treating obesity by blocking metabolism of endogenous prostaglandins.
  • Kimberly Reidy, MD
    LKB1 effect on podocyte metabolism and structure in diabetic nephropathy.
  • Djamel Lebeche, PhD
    Targeting Diabetes with small molecule activators of SERCA.
  • Role of Monocytes in Memory CD8+T and NK Cell-mediated Type 1 Diabetes
    Gregoire Lauvau, Ph.D.
  • miR-142-Regulated Vaccine for Boosting Islet Tolerance
    Brian Brown, Ph.D.
  • Treating obesity by blocking metabolism of endogenous prostaglandins
    Victor L. Schuster, MD
  • LKB1 effect on podocyte metabolism and structure in diabetic nephropathy
    Kimberly J Reidy, MD
  • Targeting Diabetes with small molecule activators of SERCA
    Djamel Lebeche, PhD
  • A Critical Role for SNAP23 in Adipocyte Cell Viability
    Daorong Feng, PhD, MS BS
  • High Fat Diet-induced Adipose Tissue Fibrosis
    Hyok Joon Kwon, PhD
  • Role of Endogenous SIRT1 Regulations in Glucose Homeostasis and Insulin Action
    Colette Knight, M.D.
  • South Asians Acting Together for Health Improvement (SAATHI)
    Alison Karasz, Ph.D.
  • BCL6 as a Novel Regulator of Glucose Metabolism
    Hilda Ye, Ph.D.


  • Immune & Metabolic Mechanism in Spontaneous Obesity
    Xingxing Zang, M.Med, Ph.D.
  • Allograft Inflammatory Factor-1 and Obesity
    Nicholas Sibinga, Ph.D.


  • Herbert Tanowitz, MD
    Chagas Diseases and Diabetes
  • Bhaskar Das, PhD
    A Novel Role of SIRT1 in Regulating Lipid Homeostasis
  • Fajun Yang, PhD
    Mechanisms of CDK8 Regulation on Lipogenesis
  • Claire Bastie, PhD
    Fyn Kinase-Dependent Regulation of LKB1
  • Laura Bocai, MD
    Effect of Insulin on Cardiovascular Complications of Type 2 Diabetes in ACCORD  


  • Jeffrey Gonzalez, PhD        
    Reducing Distress and Improving Treatment Adherence in Type 1 Diabetes.
  • Liang Zhu, MD, PhD
    Role of Rb In Obesity and Diabetes Through Regulation of Hypothalamic Neurons.


  • Richard Kitsis, MD
    ARC and Beta-Cell Apoptosis: Molecular Mechanisms and Physiological Significance
  • Steve Almo, PhD
    Multivalent Peptide-MHC Constructs for Treating Diabetes
  • Tao Wang, PhD
    Genetic Link Between Type 2 diabetes and Postmenopausal Breast Cancer
  • David Silver, PhD
    Role of FIT Proteins in Obesity and Insulin Resistance
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