Skip to main content

Click "Menu" to toggle open, click "Menu" again to close

Noted Type 2 Diabetes Expert Dr. David G. Marrero to Lead New UA Health Sciences Center for Border Health

David G. Marrero, PhD, an expert in the field of clinical trials in type 2 diabetes and translational research, has been appointed director of the newly established UA Health Sciences Center for Border Health.


David G. Marrero, PhD, a distinguished expert in diabetes education and research, has joined the University of Arizona Health Sciences as director of the newly established UAHS Center for Border Health, which will develop programs and strategies to improve health and wellbeing along the U.S.-Mexico border and across the greater Southwest.

Dr. Marrero, whose research has focused on medication adherence, community health programs, early diabetes intervention and translational medicine, also was appointed professor of public health at the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Department of Health Promotion Sciences, and professor in the UA College of Medicine – Tucson, Department of Medicine, Division of Endocrinology.

“Dr. Marrero is a superb addition to the UAHS team,” said Joe G.N. "Skip" Garcia, MD, UA senior vice president for health sciences and the Dr. Merlin K. DuVal Professor of Medicine. “He has exceptional expertise in diabetes prevention and his proven ability to move clinical trials and translational research into the public sector will have a dramatic and immediate impact on the health of underserved border communities. His leadership will advance research to benefit Arizona’s largely Hispanic and Native American populations along the U.S.-Mexico border.”

Dr. Marrero joins the UA Health Sciences after 20 years at Indiana University, where he served as director of its Diabetes Translational Research Center and the J.O. Ritchey Professor of Medicine. He was instrumental in the development of a Diabetes Prevention Program and the TRIAD study, which evaluated strategies to improve diabetes care delivery in managed-care settings, among many other achievements.

As director of the UAHS Center for Border Health, Dr. Marrero will provide executive leadership and work to build strong collaborations with other UAHS centers, such as the Center for Population Science and Discovery; the Center for Elimination of Disparities in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism; the Center for Applied Genetics and Genomic Medicine; and the Center for Biomedical Informatics and Biostatistics.

The new Center will focus on building extensive collaborative efforts to affect treatment of type 2 diabetes in border populations. Working with the Arizona Area Health Education Centers (AzAHEC) and other UAHS centers, the Center for Border Health is establishing Regional Arizona Centers of Excellence in Clinical Research (or RACER sites) in Yuma and Nogales to provide mental health services for individuals with diabetes and to develop culturally appropriate and relevant training programs. 

“Dr. Marrero’s research and expertise in diabetes prevention perfectly aligns with the mission of our College. We are excited to have him on board as a faculty member and as an outstanding mentor to our junior faculty. I am confident that with his leadership the Center for Border Health will have a great impact on improving public health in our border communities,” said Iman A. Hakim, MD, PhD, MPH, dean of the UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

Collaborations with Banner – University Medical Group practices in Phoenix and Tucson and representatives from other local, federally qualified health centers will improve treatments for Type 2 diabetes patients. Other partnerships will be developed to conduct innovative research, educational programs and create evidence-based interventions to improve health outcomes of border communities.

Twice awarded the Allene Von Son Award for Diabetes Patient Education Tools by the American Association of Diabetes Educators, Dr. Marrero has been nominated to Who’s Who in Medicine and Health Care in 2000, served as associate editor for Diabetes Care (1997-2002) and is the associate editor for Diabetes Forecast. He was selected for an Alumni of the Year award from the University of California, Irvine in 2006 and Outstanding Educator in Diabetes in 2008 by the American Diabetes Association. In 2016, he served as the president for health care and education of the American Diabetes Association. His research interests also include strategies for promoting diabetes prevention, improving diabetes care practices used by primary care providers and the use of technology to facilitate care and education. His clinical interests include diabetes, obesity and coping.

Dr. Marrero received a bachelor’s degree (1974), master’s degree (1978) and doctorate (1982) in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine.

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences

The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs almost 5,000 people, has nearly 1,000 faculty members and garners more than $126 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information:

The University of Arizona red triangle graphic