Michael Steffes

Professor Emeritus

Research Summary

Dr. Steffes is a professor and faculty investigator in the Advanced Research and Diagnostics Laboratory (ARDL), which provides central laboratory testing services for large, NIH-funded multi-center clinical trials and studies. Through numerous large-scale longitudinal studies he has earned recognition as a leading researcher in the areas of diabetes mellitus, endocrinology, and cardiovascular disease epidemiology. Steffes is currently principal investigator of the Central Biochemistry Laboratory (CBL) for the Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC) study, a follow-up to the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) launched in 1984 of which he was also the principal investigator of the CBL. EDIC is a multi-center, longitudinal, observational study designed to use the well-characterized DCCT patient cohort to assess the incidence and predictors of cardiovascular disease events such as heart attack and stroke and diabetic complications related to the eye, kidney, and nerves. In addition, EDIC aims to measure the impact and cost-effectiveness of intensive treatment versus conventional treatment on the quality of life. Steffes is also the principal investigator of the CBL in the GRADE study (Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Diabetes). GRADE is a long-term study with the goal of showing the comparative effectiveness of different treatments for type 2 diabetes, a disease that threatens to become a major public health problem and poses enormous human and economic challenges worldwide.Dr. Steffes is directing central laboratory testing through ARDL for the Assessment, Serial Evaluation, and Subsequent Sequelae of Acute Kidney Injury (ASSESS-AKI) study, a multi-center effort exploring the use of novel blood and urine biomarkers to refine the diagnosis and prognosis of patients with acute kidney injury. He is also collaborating with ARDL colleagues to provide central laboratory services for the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults Study (CARDIA) that examines the development of heart disease in young black and white adults. In addition, he is collaborating in an ongoing effort to standardize the methods to measure hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), a long-term marker of glycemia. The DCCT/EDIC CBL at the University of Minnesota has defined the measurement of HbA1c in laboratories, both research and clinical. HbA1c is now used to diagnose diabetes mellitus acround the world.


  • de Boer IH, Gao X, Bebu I, Hoofnagle AN, Lachin JM, Paterson A, Perkins BA,  Saenger AK, Steffes MW, Zinman B, Molitch ME. Biomarkers of tubulointerstitial damage and function in type 1 diabetes. BMJ Open Diabetes Res Care. 2017 Nov 14;5(1):e000461.
  • de Boer IH, Sun W, Cleary PA, Lachin JM, Molitch ME, Zinman B, Steffes MW; for the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications Study Research Group. Longitudinal Changes in Estimated and Measured GFR in Type 1 Diabetes. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2014 Jan 25(4):810-818.
  • De Boer, Ian H De; Sun, Wanjie; Gao, Xiaoyu; Cleary, Patricia; Lachin, John M.; Molitch, Mark E.; Steffes, Michael W.; Zinman, Bernard. Effect of intensive diabetes treatment on albuminuria in type 1 diabetes: Long-term follow-up of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial and Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications study. The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology. 2014 July 2(10):793-800.
  • McGee, Paula L.; Steffes, Michael W.; Nowicki, Maren L.; Bayless, Meg L.; Gubitosi-Klug, Rose A.; Cleary, Patricia; Lachin, John M.; Palmer, Jerry P. Insulin secretion measured by stimulated C-peptide in long-established Type 1 diabetes in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT)/ Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (EDIC) cohort: A pilot study. Diabetic Medicine. 2014. June 31(10):1264-1268.