Sub-Theme Leaders: Patrik Rorsman and Leanne Hodson
Key Researchers: John Todd, Jeremy Tomlinson, Paul Johnson, Peter Friend
The adjacency of our BRC supported lab, clinical investigation unit and DRWF Islet Isolation facility offers unique opportunities for translational research across a number of metabolic tissues.
A major focus is centered on improving our understanding of why pancreatic islet cells are destroyed in type 1 diabetes and dysfunctional in type 2 diabetes. Researchers take advantage of local access to human islets, to define molecular mechanisms for islet dysfunction, explore opportunities to improve their function pharmacologically and evaluate the potential of alternative sources for clinical islet-cell replacement. Some of the most exciting areas of our work include the characterisation of recently developed human induced pluripotent stem-cell derived beta-cell models which will not only provide the community with authentic models to study disease mechanisms but also offer opportunities to evaluate new therapeutics and studies the role gut hormones play in resolving type 2 diabetes following bariatric surgery.
In addition to our focus on the islet we have parallel research programs focused on the discovery of novel biomarkers of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We use primary human liver cells and cell lines in combination with stable-isotope methodologies and genetic manipulation to explore the effects of diet and pharmacological agents on liver metabolism.