Endocrinology and Metabolism



The Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism in the First Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University was founded in 1957 by Pro. Shoukai Zhou, a first-grade national professor in China. As one of the first established disciplines of endocrinology and metabolism in China, it is dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of endocrine and metabolic diseases, conducting basic and clinical researches in the field of endocrinology and metabolism, and training future endocrinologists. In the mid-80s, we had the largest endocrine ward in Southern China, and established a well-equipped science laboratory.  It was also the earliest training unit for master and doctorate degree in China. Through commitment and effort, the department became a leading center in the Nation, and was recognized as the “Clinical pharmacological base of Endocrinology” in 1997, “Key discipline of Guangdong province” in 2003, “National key discipline” in 2007 by the National Ministry of Education, and “National clinical key disciplines in 2011 by the National Ministry of Health. The ranking for the most recognized hospitals lists our department as the eighth nationwide and No.1 in Southern China for consecutive 3 years.

Clinical Services     

The Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism offers patients a comprehensive and integrated medical service covering the consultation, diagnostics and therapeutics for the full range of endocrine or metabolic diseases. To ensure the patients benefit from the emerging advances in clinical care and basic researches, our team implements the latest and standardized therapies for the treatment of diabetes mellitus, thyroid diseases, adrenal diseases, pituitary diseases, obesity related and other endocrine or metabolic disorders. We were the first unit in the nation to initiate short-term intensive insulin therapies for patients with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes, inducing long-term (for more than 1 year) drug-free remission in nearly 80% of the patients. Patients with long-standing diabetes who were insufficiently controlled with oral hypoglycemic agents also benefit from short term intensive insulin treatment. They regained response to a more simplified regimen after the treatment. Thyroid arterial embolization was first developed in our department as a novel option to treat refractory hyperthyroidism, and was recognized as one of the standard procedures.  Successful cases from UK and USA were widely broadcasted by CNN, Guangdong TV station and other media outlets in 2005. For pituitary and adrenal diseases, our department has established a regular multiple discipline treatment (MDT) teamwork with the Departments of Neurosurgery, Urology, Radiology and Pathology. Advanced techniques, such as inferior petrosal sinus sampling for Cushion syndrome and adrenal vein sampling for primary aldosteronism, are routinely administered and are able to gain satisfactory effects.


The department demonstrates excellence in medical education. We provide high-quality clinical tutoring by experienced staffs combined with diversified disease entities. Until now, our department has trained hundreds of endocrinologists with master degree or doctorate degree, as well as refresher physicians from hospitals nationwide who contributes greatly to the progress of endocrinology and metabolism. As one of the leading medical training bases in China, our department holds continuing education programs every year.


The Department has a longstanding excellence in clinical and science research, highlighted by major discoveries in the areas of diabetes and thyroid diseases. We are involved in multiple clinical trials each year, the majority of which is on short term intensive insulin treatment in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Our work was published on Lancet, Diabetes Care, Diabetes Res Clin Pract, Diabetes Technol Ther and Endocr J etc. Based on the researches from our center, short term intensive insulin treatment was cited as one of the initial choices for newly diagnosed type 2 diabetic patients by the year 2013 Chinese Guidelines for the prevention and treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Additionally, we firstly discovered serum miRNA as diagnostic markers for papillary thyroid carcinoma. This novel and minimally invasive diagnostic method is published in J Clin Endocrinol Metab (2012,2013). Over the years, our department has won multiple awards for the achievements in clinical and science research, including “The First Prize for Science & Technology Progress by Ministry of Education” in 2007, “The First Prize for Science & Technology Progress in Guangdong” in 2008 and “The Second Prize for National Science & Technology Progress” in 2008.

International Collaboration

In recent years, our department has conducted multiple international academic conferences and developed even closer communication with hospitals from other countries, including John Hopkins Hospital, Joslin Diabetes Center of Harvard University, Yale University, University of Maryland, Baylor College of Medicine in U.S.A., as well as University of Calgary in Canada, etc. These international collaborations have provided our young staffs with a wider scope and a bigger platform, enabling them to keep up with the latest development in the field of Endocrinology and Metabolism worldwide.


Currently, there are 41 staffs in our department, which includes 8 senior specialists. ( 5 professors,  3 associate professors).  

LI Yanbing, M.D.& Ph.D.

Professor and doctorial supervisor, Chief of the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

CAO Xiaopei, M.D.& Ph.D.

Professor and doctorial supervisor, Vice chief of the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

LIAO Zhihong, M.D.& Ph.D.

Professor and doctorial supervisor, Vice chief of the Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

XIAO Haipeng, M.D.& Ph.D.

Vice president of Sun Yat-sen University, Professor and doctorial supervisor, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism

XIU Lingling, M.D.& Ph.D.

Professor and doctorial supervisor, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

HUANG Zhimin, M.D.& Ph.D.

Associate professor and master supervisor, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

GUAN Hongyu, M.D.& Ph.D.

Associate professor and doctorial supervisor, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism.

MIN Yunbing, M.D.

Associate professor, Department of Endocrinology and Metabolism.