Pinar Gumus Balikcioglu, MD

Faculty Member, Duke Molecular Physiology Institute


Assistant Professor of Pediatrics


Carmichael Building


Dr. Balikcioglu is Assistant Professor of Pediatrics. She is interested in the pathogenesis and predictors of progression to Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents.

MHS Duke University School of Medicine

MD Hacettepe University (Turkey)

I have a research interest in the pathogenesis and predictors of progression to Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents. I examined the relationship between insulin secretion and GAD65 antibody levels at diagnosis on glycemic control in Type 2 Diabetes. I then explored the relationship between body mass index and GAD65 antibody status on β-cell secretion at diabetes onset in African-American children. I subsequently demonstrated that type 2 diabetes in children is associated with abnormalities in cortisol metabolism.

Type 2 diabetes is disproportionately high among African Americans and Hispanic populations and is more common in adolescent females than males despite comparable BMI-z scores. My colleagues and I have explored these differences in a recent analysis of obese adolescents. Using metabolomic profiling, principal components analysis, and regression analysis, we found associations between insulin resistance and a branched chain amino acid-related metabolic signature as well as striking sex dependent differences in metabolic profiles. Our findings are the first to underscore the role of sex differences in metabolic function and outcomes in pediatric obesity. Collectively, my studies have identified strong associations between insulin resistance, cortisol metabolism, and sex steroid action.

I would like to explore if changes in cortisol metabolism and the sex differences in metabolic function is a cause or a consequence of obesity; and if these metabolic findings can predict the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.