Michael Riddell, York University Professor Helps People with Diabetes Live Longer, Healthier and More Active Lives

Picture of M. Riddell in his lab

Michael Riddell is a Professor in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science and the Muscle Health Research Centre at York University. Riddell’s research supports his vision to ensure that people with diabetes live longer, healthier and more active lives. He believes that “you can achieve pretty remarkable things while living a full life with this disease” and he has accomplished this, through both academic achievements and how he lives his own life.

Prof. Riddell accomplishes his vision by helping to determine the appropriate insulin and nutritional requirements for exercise and by focusing on patient education to ensure individuals manage their diabetes with new tools and therapeutics. Riddell, who has been living with type 1 diabetes since the age of 14, enjoys mountain biking, hiking and trekking with other people living with diabetes. In November, 2014, he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and in 2015, he hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, all to help raise awareness about type 1 diabetes and the vast accomplishments of people living with the disease.

Prof. Riddell is passionate about his research, which focus on the metabolic and hormonal responses to exercise and stress in diabetes. He has published over 120 original research papers, 16 book chapters and a guidebook for patients on the topic. Currently, he is examining the effects of exercise and stress on diabetes blood sugar control and how to better design an artificial pancreas for patients with type 1 diabetes. Through his research, Prof. Riddell is impacting the lives of many people living with diabetes, helping to give them hope of an improved quality of life

Dr. Riddell is a graduate of the University of Guelph in Human Kinetics, has a PhD in Medical Sciences (Physiology/Pharmacology) from McMaster University and post-doctoral experience from the University of Toronto (Physiology). He is a senior Scientist at LMC Diabetes & Endocrinology, running studies focused on eliminating post-exercise high blood sugar in patients with diabetes. He also serves as expert faculty member on the Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) Peak Performance working group and on the International Society for Pediatric and Adolescents Diabetes guidelines on exercise. In addition, Dr. Riddell is the chair of the Scientific Advisory Committee for Zucara Therapeutics, a new company formed by MaRS Innovation and the Center for Drug Research and Development who are pursuing research on the development of a new therapeutic for severe low blood sugar in diabetes. His research team has funding from the National Science & Engineering Research Council of Canada, JDRF and the National Institute of Health.

Michael Riddell received the Faculty of Health Established Researcher award in 2013, which comes as no surprise because his work and life are not only inspiring, but testaments to his dedication, passion and resilience.