J. Robinson Singleton, MD

Dr. John Robinson Singleton is Professor and Vice Chairman in the University of Utah Department of Neurology, and Chief of Service for Neurology at the Salt Lake City Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Singleton is a neuromuscular specialist with expertise in clinical investigation of metabolic nerve and muscle disease. His research has focused on the relationship between early hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, obesity and length dependent nerve injury, and this sustained research program has yielded continuous NIH funding for 15 years. The Singleton research group established an epidemiological link between otherwise idiopathic painful sensory predominant neuropathy and prediabetes, identified obesity and hypertriglyceridemia as risk factors for diabetic neuropathy independent of glucose control. They developed and validated a clinical exam scale for early sensory predominant neuropathy, the Utah Early Neuropathy Scale (UENS), and showed that skin biopsy for intraepidermal nerve fiber density (IENFD) determination is a sensitive measure of early neuropathy that predicts progression to clinical neuropathy symptoms in diabetic patients. They have adapted IENFD following capsaicin axotomy to demonstrate that prediabetes inhibits, and intensive exercise improves cutaneous re-innervation. They have shown that lifestyle intervention reduces neuropathic pain, improves IENFD and reduces progression of clinical neuropathy in prediabetes (the Impaired Glucose Tolerance Neuropathy study), and type 2 diabetes (the Utah Diabetic Neuropathy Study). The Singleton lab runs a two center NIDDK funded randomized trial of mentored exercise and actigraphy based anti-sedentary behavioral counseling to reduce IENFD loss progression in patients with diabetic neuropathy, the ADAPT study, which uses intervention elements adapted from the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP).


Since 2010 Dr. Singleton has directed the Utah CTSA award site Clinical Trial Services Foundation, and oversees the 78 protocols currently using the CTSF. In this role Dr. Singleton has implemented predictive instruments for nursing effort and utilization, developed a protocol performance tracking database responsive to NCATS/CTSA common metrics, and spearheaded an opt-out Epic based participant registry. Dr. Singleton serves as the Director of our CCTS Hub Liaison Team to the CTSA Trial Innovation Network, and is site PI for NINDS NeuroNEXT, and helped to apply for a currently active NNEXT DBRCT of topiramate in sensory neuropathy with metabolic syndrome.