Dr. Nair in his diabetes lab at Mayo Clinic. Expanding options for diabetes

With decades of scientific expertise, Dr. Nair is leading our lab's efforts to better understand the underlying causes of type 2 diabetes in populations with a genetic predisposition to the disease as they age.


The Metabolic Basis for Type 2 Diabetes and Aging Research Laboratory studies the mechanisms and complications of type 2 diabetes to help inform and improve quality of life for the aging population.

Led by esteemed physician-scientist K. Sreekumaran Nair, M.D., Ph.D., our lab focuses on the metabolic basis for type 2 diabetes and aging, with four main research projects:

  • Branched amino acids and muscle functions
  • In vivo regulation of protein turnover by hormones
  • Mechanism of muscle wasting in aging
  • Plasma proteins as markers of insulin deficiency and diabetic complications

As a family physician and an endocrinologist, Dr. Nair is especially determined to advance understanding about the underlying causes of diabetes.

Dr. Nair's research team also investigates the impact of various interventions on the regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis. Analytical methods such as mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy allow our team to study metabolic consequences of altered energy and protein metabolism. Much of our work involves the use of stable isotope tracers to label proteins in vivo and study synthesis and accumulation of individual proteins. Post-translational modifications, especially carbonylation and deamidation, also are studied by mass spectrometry.

About Dr. Nair

In addition to serving as principal investigator of the Metabolic Basis for Type 2 Diabetes and Aging Research Lab, Dr. Nair is a professor of medicine at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science in Rochester, Minnesota. He has been recognized as a Distinguished Investigator at Mayo Clinic, honored with the distinction of an endowed professorship, the David H. Murdock-Dole Food Company Professorship, and has received many national and international awards including distinguished investigator (E.V. McCollum Award) of the American Society of Clinical Nutrition.

Dr. Nair's research has been funded by many organizations, including the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Center for Research Resources, the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, Merck Research Laboratories, Ajinomoto in Japan, the American Diabetes Association, and the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

He has served as a reviewer or editorial board member for a number of journals, including The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Diabetes, The Journal of Clinical Investigation and The New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr. Nair received an MBBS degree from the University of Kerala (Trivandrum Medical College) in India, a Ph.D. from the Council of National Academic Awards in London, and an M.D. from the State University of New York at Albany.