Alan M. Jacobson received his B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale University and M.D. from the University of Chicago Medical School. He has been on the faculty of Harvard Medical School since 1973, and is now Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry. He started the Joslin Diabetes Center’s Behavioral Research and Clinical Mental Health Programs and later became Chief Medical Officer of the Joslin Clinic- a multi-specialty group practice. He also served as Senior Vice-President and founding Director of the Strategic Initiatives Division: the business-ventures arm of the Center. He directed the Division for 10 years, during which time he oversaw growth in revenues from $6M to over $20M per year.
In 2009 Dr Jacobson moved to Winthrop University Hospital, where he became Chief Research Officer and Director of its new Research Institute and Center for Diabetes Research. As CRO, he is charged with integrating research with Winthrop’s clinical and educational missions, centralizing research activities, developing effective strategies to maximize external funding and building research throughout the hospital. In this capacity, he will oversee the establishment of a strong diabetes-oriented research program.
He has served as the Principal Investigator for the Joslin Diabetes Center’s Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT)/ Epidemiology of Diabetes Control and Complications (EDIC) site and directs the behavioral science component of the DCCT/EDIC study. He has published over 150 papers and articles on topics related to his research and clinical activities. He has been funded continuously for the last 30 years by a series of grants from the National Institutes of Health, and is currently funded by three NIH grants.
Description of Research Interests/Activities
Dr. Jacobson’s investigations focus on the psychological aspects of diabetes. His studies have examined the impact of diabetes on the structure, chemistry and function of the central nervous system; the quality of life of patients and their families; the effects of psychological and social factors on the course and outcomes of diabetes; and the development of psychological and medical interventions to improve outcomes of diabetes.
He is currently studying:
• The long-term effects of type 1 diabetes on cognitive functioning and health-related quality of life as part of the long term follow-up of the DCCT cohort.
• The impart of T1DM on urologic complications
• The acute and chronic effects of T1DM and hyperglycemic and glutamate using MRI
• The impact of T2DM in humans on functional connectivity of the brain’s default network as a possible early biomarker for Alzheimer’s Disease
• Effects of insulin resistance on brain functioning and structure in the rhesus monkey.
Areas of Experience
1. Jacobson AM, Goldberg I, Burns B, Hoeper E, Hankin J, Hewitt K. Diagnosed mental disorder in children and use of health services in four organized health care settings. Am J Psychiatry 1980; 137:559-65.
2. Hauser ST, Jacobson AM, Noam G, Powers S. Ego development and self-image complexity in early adolescence: longitudinal studies of psychiatric and diabetic patients Arch Gen Psychiatry 1983; 40:325-332.
3. Jacobson A, M, & de Groot M,. The devaluation of two measures of quality of life in patients with type I and type II diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Care 1994; 17:267-274.
4. Jacobson AM. The psychological care of patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med 334:1249-1253, 1996.
5. Welch G, Jacobson A, Polonsky W. The problem areas in diabetes (PAID) scale examination of its clinical utility. Diabetes Care 1997; 20:760-766.
6. Jacobson AM, Samson JA, Weinger K, Ryan CM. Diabetes, the brain and behavior: Is there a biological mechanism underlying the association between diabetes and depression? Int Rev Neurobiol 51:455-479, 2002.
7. DCCT/EDIC Research Group, Intensive diabetes treatment and cardiovascular disease in patients with type 1 diabetes. N Engl J Med. 2005 Dec 22;353(25):2707-9.
8. Goebel-Fabbri AE, Musen G, Sparks CR, Greene JA, Levenson, JL, Jacobson AM. Endocrine and metabolic disorders. Textbook of Psychosomatic Medicine. Levenson JL (ed). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing, pp. 495-515, 2005.
9. Musen G, Lyoo IK, Sparks CR, Weinger K, Hwang J, Ryan CM, Jimerson DC, Hennen J, Renshaw PF, Jacobson AM. Effects of type 1 diabetes on gray matter density as measured by voxel-based morphometry. Diabetes 55:326-333, 2006.
10. Jacobson AM, Ryan C, Cleary P, Waberski B, Burwood A, Weinger K, Bayless M, Dahms W, Silvers N, Harth J, Musen G, for the DCCT/EDIC Research Group. The impact of diabetes and its treatment on cognitive function: an eighteen year follow-up of the DCCT cohort. N Engl J Med. 2007 May 3; 356(18):1842-1852.
11. Weinger, K., Jacobson, AM., Musen, G., Kyoo, IK., Ryan, C., Jimerson, D., Renshaw, P., The effects of type 1 diabetes on cerebral white matter, Diabetologia. 2008. 51: 417-425.
Lyoo, I.K., Yoon, S., Musen, G., Simonson, D., Weinger, K., Bolo, N., Ryan, C., Kim, J., Renshaw, P., Jacobson, A.M. Altered Cerebral Glutamate/Glutamine/?-Aminobutyric Acid Levels and Low Cognitive Performance and Depressive Symptoms in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2009, Aug: 66:879-887.
12. Jacobson, A.M. Diabetes: Finding “A Clean, Well-lighted Place”, Lancet, 2009; Sept: 23:1746-7
13. Jacobson AM, Ryan, C, Waberski, B, Cleary, P, Musen, G, Weinger K, and the DCCT/EDIC Research Group. Biomedical risk factors for decreased cognitive functioning in type 1 diabetes: an 18 year follow-up of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) cohort. Diabetologia. 2010 Aug. [EPub ahead of print].