Sub-Theme Leaders: Mark McCarthy and Jeremy Tomlinson
Key Researchers: Fredrik Karpe, Rury Holman, Jeremy Tomlinson, Katharine Owen, Rachel Besser, Leanne Hodson, Anna Gloyn
Clinical studies in patients and healthy volunteers help us not only to understand the mechanisms that drive the development of diabetes and metabolic disease, but can begin to help us identify new targets that can lead to the development of novel drug therapies. Our studies are performed in adults and children and their aim is to characterise metabolic dysfunction and how this relates to the production and action of insulin as well as the function of fat tissue and the liver. Our studies are performed on the BRC-supported Clinical Research Unit that allows us to carry out in-depth assessments and investigations in human subjects. The studies that we perform will allow us to define how genetic differences between individuals result in increased (or decreased) risk of diabetes (type 1 and type 2), and also of the complications of diabetes. Understanding how these genetic signals translate into risk of disease can provide valuable clues that point towards as yet unexplored approaches that will translate into new ways of predicting, preventing and treating diabetes and its consequences.
Some researchers in our subtheme plan to use immune therapy as a strategy to treat patients with type 1 diabetes, whilst others are focused on characterising the processes that can drive fat accumulation in the liver, and testing new strategies that aim to offer an effective treatment for diabetes-associated liver disease. In addition, we will use eHealth applications to provide a more joined up approach between community and hospital-based monitoring of diseases including diabetes with the aim of improving patient care.