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.


staff and board photo 11.2015


Silvia Alvarez
Clinical Medical Assistant

Sandy Andrews, RD, CDE, CPT
Director of Education

Wendy Bevier, PhD
Clinical Research Associate

Kristin Castorino, DO
Research Physician

Mei Mei Church, NP
Clinical Research Nurse Practitioner

Mary Conneely
Diabetes Educator

Ada Conner
Director of Development

Donna Frase
Certified Clinical Research

Jeannine Glockler
Donor Development Associate

Ellen Goodstein
Executive Director

Miguel Grijalva
Building Maintenance

Louise Keeler
Regulatory Assistant

David Kerr, MD FRCPE
Director of Research and Innovation


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

Nicole Neal

Jordan Pinsker, MD
Senior Research Physician
Pediatric Endocrinologist


Adjunct Investigators

Eyal Dassau, PhD
Senior Investigator Diabetes Team Research Manager
John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Harvard University

Francis J. Doyle III, PhD
Adjunct Senior Investigator
Dean, John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Harvard University

Alejandro Jose Laguna Sanz, PhD
Adjunct Investigator
John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Harvard University

Dale E. Seborg,
Adjunct Senior Investigator
Professor Emeritus, Research Professor
Department of Chemical Engineering
University of California, Santa Barbara

Sunil A. Deshpande, PhD
Adjunct Investigator
John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Harvard University

Adjunct Investigator
Department of Statistics and Applied Probability
University of California, Santa Barbara

Chandra Krintz, Ph.D.
Adjunct Senior Investigator
UCSB RACELab Director
Department of Computer Science
University of California, Santa Barbara

Rich Wolski, Ph.D.
Adjunct Senior Investigator
Department of Computer Science
University of California, Santa Barbara



Sandra Tillisch Svoboda,
Nurse Clinician (ret.)

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

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

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

Bruce Anticouni
Attorney, Anticouni & Associates

Anthony Castillo
Vice President of Finance
Alliance Wealth Strategies

Ronald J. Fox
Investment Broker (ret.)

Yvette Giller
Vice President, Samuel B. and
Margaret Mosher Foundation

Wayne Hewitt
Financial Advisor

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,





Serve as support staff to the clinical research department on projects as assigned. Duties may include but are not limited to:

  • Learning and adhering to study protocol
  • Data entry and charting
  • Study recruitment
  • Performing blood glucose measurement via fingerstick, taking vital signs, urine pregnancy testing, downloading devices, lab specimen processing or any procedure necessary for the protocol
  • Preparing study areas and ensuring adequate provisions are available for overnight studies
  • Preparing meals for study subjects
  • Cleaning up kitchen, bedroom and study areas
  • Helping to maintain drug and device accountability and dispensing
  • Assisting study participants with device training and trouble-shooting, including travelling to the participant as needed.

Some weekend and evening hours may be required. Some travel may be required.


The incumbent must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Appropriate training will be provided where necessary, and specific assistance in refreshing the incumbent in those areas where appropriate. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. Proof of Hep B immunization required.

  • Basic knowledge of office practices and office equipment
  • Basic knowledge of computer systems for word processing, electronic mail, data entry.
  • Ability to transfer data accurately, in the required format, and in a timely manner.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, both verbal and written.
  • Ability to work with multiple staff members and prioritize work.
  • Ability to work independently and with careful attention to detail.
  • Excellent multi-tasking and organizational skills.
  • Must be able to establish rapport and communicate with clients of diverse cultural and educational backgrounds.
  • Willing to travel to participants as needed for device troubleshooting and/or study supply distribution, and have a reliable vehicle for travel.


Bachelor’s degree

Experience working in a medical setting, including venipuncture skills, desirable. Experience working with patients with Type 1 diabetes desirable.  Scientific education desirable.


The ability to read and speak English clearly is mandatory. The ability to interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instruction, and procedure manuals. The ability to communicate information to other employees as well as management in a clear and concise manner is essential.

Ability to speak Spanish desirable but not required.


Work hours will need to be flexible to meet the project needs. Evening, weekend and overnight work may be required. Attendance at departmental meetings and weekly general staff meeting is expected. This is not a telecommuting position and consistent attendance is required.



The ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions, either written, oral, or diagram form. The ability to deal with problems involving several variables in standardized situation must be a proven ability. The ability to prioritize tasks and activities in a manner consistent with direction from supervisor.


The incumbent is regularly required to sit, talk, and hear. The incumbent frequently is required to use hands to finger, handle or feel equipment, paper, or files. The incumbent must be able to operate a computer keyboard as well as see a computer monitor display screen. The incumbent is occasionally required to stand, walk, and reach with hands and arms. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10-20 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision.

This position requires the manual dexterity and adequate vision to record data onto data sheets, and enter data into a computer; adequate hearing and verbal communication skills to conduct interviews (in person or on the telephone).


The work environment would be generally described as a laboratory setting with clinical and office facilities adjacent to the primary work area. The ability to move within all three of these areas may be required in the execution of the employee’s functional activities. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate and the illumination of the work area is primarily with fluorescent artificial lighting.

This position is associated with exposure to bloodborne pathogens and communicable disease requiring the use of universal precautions at all times.

This job description is intended to describe the general requirements of the performance of the job. It is not a complete list of duties, responsibilities or requirements. Other duties not listed here may be assigned as needed.

To learn more about this exciting opportunity, please apply at




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 is April 1st, 2017.

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.”

The 2017 Summer Internship Application is now open.

Please apply at



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Posted February 11, 2013