Dr. William D. Sansum, who brought renown to Santa Barbara in 1922 as the first physician in the U.S. to produce and administer life-saving insulin to patients with diabetes, founded the nonprofit organization in 1944.

Today, under the leadership of Ellen Goodstein, the William Sansum Diabetes Center remains an extraordinary place, where research, education and care have improved the lives of people worldwide who are impacted by this serious disease.

The Center has gained international recognition for its work to develop an artificial pancreas, its success in developing protocols to increase the incidence of healthy babies born to women with diabetes and its work with people with and at risk for type 2 diabetes. Physicians and researchers continue to develop new treatment protocols for people with diabetes. New drugs and medical devices are clinically tested to ensure their efficacy and safety.

It is our intention to use our past and present accomplishments to guide us into the future – to tap into the energy and commitment that made the William Sansum Diabetes Center what it is today – a worldwide leader in diabetes research, education and care.


About Us-2-HistoryDr. William D. Sansum at the time he established the Sansum Clinic at Cottage Hospital in 1928.


Dr. William David Sansum, founder of the William Sansum Diabetes Center, was born in 1880. He started pursuing his goal of being a doctor at Rush Medical College at the University of Chicago. Cottage Hospital’s board of trustees invited him to Santa Barbara to become the new Director of the Potter Metabolic Clinic.

While Dr. Sansum was pursuing diabetes research in the early 1920’s, other researches were doing the same and successfully treated animals and ultimately humans with an extract they developed. They named their extract “insulin”, from the Latin for “island”, referring to the Islets of Langerhans found in the pancreas. In Santa Barbara, Dr. Sansum decided to pursue the same direction— the production of insulin from animal pancreases. Researchers everywhere were trying to develop better methods and to increase purity and strength for use in humans with limited amounts of insulin available. On May 31, 1922; after two years of research the first American patient was injected with U.S.-made insulin at the Potter Clinic.

In 1928, Dr. Sansum decided to form his own clinic group with a staff of five. Later, Dr. Sansum was encouraged to build a clinic on Pueblo Street. Dr. Sansum retired from active practice in 1942, but continued his research efforts. In 1944 he founded the Sansum Clinic Foundation. Later the Foundation’s name was changed to Sansum Medical Research Foundation and to Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, and is currently the William Sansum Diabetes Center.

In 1947 Dr. Sansum began work on a new vision that was thirty years ahead of his time– pancreatic cell transplantation. A year later he suffered a stroke and died. After Dr. Sansum’s death, the clinic was reorganized and purchased by six of the doctors on the staff. The research foundation, headed by Dr. Alfred Koehler, continued to work on the projects that Dr. Sansum had been involved in.

In 1966 a two-story building that still houses the William Sansum Diabetes Center today was built with a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Harry Morrison and others. Full-scale diabetes research began soon thereafter in the Morrison Laboratories under Dr. Donald McMillan.

Although much has happened since 1920, one thing has not changed– the goal to cure diabetes, or at least to alleviate the problems caused by this devastating disease. The legacy continues today under the leadership of Ellen Goodstein, who was appointed Interim Executive Director in 2015.



Silvia Alvarez
Clinical Medical Assistant

Sandy Andrews, RD, CDE, CPT
Director of Education

MJ Bakove
Associate Administrator

Wendy Bevier, PhD
Clinical Research Associate

Paige Bradley
Clinical Research Assistant

Connor Bui
Clinical Research Assistant

Kristin Castorino, DO
Research Physician

Mary Conneely
Diabetes Educator

Ada Conner
Director of Development

Marissa Duprey
Health Educator

Donna Frase
Certified Clinical Research

Jeannine Glockler
Donor Development Associate

Ellen Goodstein
Interim Executive Director

Miguel Grijalva
Building Maintenance

Tyler Jean
Clinical Research Assistant

David Kerr, MD FRCPE
Director of Research and Innovation

Jessica Lehner
Marketing and Communications Manager

Jenny Martinez
Project Coordinator

Leonie Mattison, MBA, DBA
Director of Clinical Research
Operations & Major Grants

Nicole Neal

Jordan Pinsker, MD
Senior Research Physician
Pediatric Endocrinologist

Benjamen Schoenberg
Project Coordinator

Stephanie Torres
Clinical Administrative Assistant

Lydia Truong
Clinical Research Assistant

Adjunct Investigators

Eyal Dassau, PhD
Adjunct Senior Investigator

Lauren Huyett
Adjunct Research Associate

Francis J. Doyle III, PhD
Adjunct Senior Investigator

Alejandro Jose Laguna Sanz
Adjunct Investigator

Dale E. Seborg,
Adjunct Senior Investigator

Joon-Bok Lee, PhD
Adjunct Research Associate

Sunil A. Deshpande, PhD
Adjunct Investigator

Angelina Trujillo, MD, FACE
Adjunct Senior Investigator

Ravi Gondhalekar, PhD
Adjunct Investigator

Adjunct Investigator

Maia Bradley
Adjunct Research Associate

Marcilio Da Silva
Adjunct Research Associate

Stratos Dimopoulos
Adjunct Research Associate

Brigid Ehrlich
Adjunct Research Associate

Chandra Krintz, Ph.D.
Adjunct Senior Investigator



Sandra Tillisch Svoboda,
Nurse Clinician (ret.)

Alexander DePaoli, MD, Vice President
Endocrinologist CMO, NGM Biopharmaceuticals
Therapeutics, Inc.

George W. Emerson, Treasurer
Principal, First Pacific Financial

Gerald S. Svedlow, MD, FACP, Secretary
Internist, Private Practice

Robert M. Nagy, MD, Immediate Past President
Psychiatrist, Private Practice

Bruce Anticouni
Attorney, Anticouni & Associates

Anita Balboa
Second Vice President / Wealth Management Advisory,
The Northern Trust Company

Curt Cruthirds
Vice President/Retail Market
Manager, South Coast Division,

Ronald J. Fox
Investment Broker (ret.)

Bradley J. Herrema
Attorney, Brownstein Hyatt Farber
Shreck, LLP

Wayne Hewitt
Financial Advisor

Fima Lifshitz, MD
Pediatric Endocrinologist,
Senior Nutrition Scientist/Director
of Pediatrics (ret.)

Michael Nissenson
Commercial Real Estate Developer

Anne M. Patterson, RD, MPH.
Director of Nutritional Programs,
SB County Public Health Department

Thomas W. Rook, DC
Chiropractor, Private Practice

Pierre Wiltzius, PhD
Dean, Div of Math and Sciences
College of Letters and Science,





Summer Internship Program in the Biologic/Medical Sciences

The William Sansum Diabetes Center’s Summer Internship Program, funded by the Coeta and Donald Barker Foundation, has a primary focus on diabetes mellitus, but interns learn about and are involved in a wide variety of clinical research and medically oriented activities. Providing insight into both clinical and academic medicine as well as medical research, this internship program offers a comprehensive learning experience for upper-class undergraduate students or recent college graduates interested in a biomedical or medical career.

Interns spend six to eight weeks (the dates of the program vary from year to year) at The Center. Interns (1) shadow The Center and community physicians practicing in various fields of medicine, (2) work on an assigned project contributing to the research or community outreach goals of The Center, (3) attend research program presentations by staff and visiting scientists, and (4) learn to critically review pertinent literature. There are weekly education sessions on diabetes mellitus and its treatment and complications. Interns receive instruction in many aspects of clinical research including writing, analyzing and presenting research results. Students with an interest or goal of a medical research or clinical career are encouraged to apply.

The successful applicant will have completed at least two years of college, preferably in a biomedical or pre-medical major. The ability to speak Spanish is helpful, but not required. Interns are responsible for housing and travel expenses. The post-mark or electronic-receipt deadline for submission of an application, including letters of recommendation, was April 1st, 2015.

Please check back in December 2015 for the 2016 Summer Internship Application.

UC Davis graduate – “My experience as a summer intern was invaluable. My knowledge in diabetes research, care and treatment expanded in leaps and bounds.”

Stanford sophomore – “My internship allowed me to learn from some of the top scientists in the field of diabetes research.”



Financial Statements 2014

IRS Form 990



This privacy policy articulates the principles, actions and beliefs of the William Sansum Diabetes Center with regard to the information collected, retained and used related to some of our primary supporters, including our donors, volunteers, prospects, and affiliated agencies and organizations. This policy is intended to guide the actions of the William Sansum Diabetes Center employees, volunteers, contractors and authorized representatives.This information includes:

  1. Personal information obtained from donors, volunteers and prospects through pledge cards, letters, surveys, applications, and other forms, in writing, in person, by telephone, or electronically (e.g. name, address, employer, birth date, credit card number, family members, interests, etc.).
  2. Individual information may also be collected about donors, volunteers and prospects’ present and past giving history, volunteer activity, committee service, information from public documents and reports, and any other interactions an individual may have had with Sansum Diabetes Research Institute.


We value our donors, volunteers and prospects (hereafter referred to as our “supporters”) and take their privacy seriously. We will respect the privacy of the personal and organizational information that we are privileged to have about our supporters. Our commitment to respect the privacy of our supporters extends to how we obtain, use, protect and share information about them. This privacy policy is intended to be applied in conjunction with related the William Sansum Diabetes Center’s policies, including, but not limited to, the Donor Bill of Rights.

Principles, Actions, and Beliefs

  • We do not sell supporter information.
  • Without the supporter’s consent, we do not provide their information to organizations or individuals outside William Sansum Diabetes Center.
  • We contractually require any person or organization providing services to the William Sansum Diabetes Center to protect the confidentiality of supporter information.
  • We will hold strictly confidential all information concerning donors and prospects, including names, addresses, names of beneficiaries, nature and value of estates, amounts of provisions or gifts, etc., unless a donor or prospect grants permission to use selective information for purposes of referral, testimonial, example, recognition, or publicity.
  • We have procedures in place to limit access to information to those employees and volunteers who need to know such information in order to fulfill our mission. Access to information is restricted and security procedures are in place. The Center’s employees and contractors sign confidentiality agreements.
  • We educate our employees and volunteers on the importance of protecting the privacy and security of confidential personal and organizational information.
  • We will use our best efforts to comply with the expressed wishes of any supporter who does not want their name used in any promotional material, wishes their name removed from solicitation lists, or wishes to have their gifts or services be anonymous.
  • We will collect, use and share information about our supporters among employees and volunteers only on a needs-to-know basis and for the sole purpose of carrying out the William Sansum Diabetes Center’s mission.

William Sansum Diabetes Center: Donor Bill of Rights

  1. The right to be informed of the organization’s mission, of the way the organization intends to use donated resources, and of its capacity to use donations effectively for their intended purposes.
  2. The right to be informed of the identity of those serving on the organization’s governing board, and to expect the board to exercise prudent judgment in its stewardship responsibilities.
  3. The right to have access to the organization’s most recent financial statements.
  4. The right to be assured their gifts will be used for the purposes for which they were given.
  5. The right to receive appropriate acknowledgement and recognition or to remain anonymous if desired.
  6. The right to be assured that information about their donations is handled with respect and with confidentiality to the extent provided by law.
  7. The right to expect that all relationships with individuals representing organizations of interest to the donor will be professional in nature.
  8. The right to be informed whether those seeking donations are volunteers, employees of the organization or hired solicitors.
  9. The right to have the opportunity for their names to be deleted from mailing lists.
  10. The right to feel free to ask questions when making a donation and to receive prompt, truthful and forthright answers.


Posted February 11, 2013