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Barts Diabetes & Obesity Research Group

Diabetes is a major global health burden, affecting over 4 million people in the UK alone, and in excess of 420 million people worldwide. The Barts Obesity and Diabetes Research Group is based at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, and undertakes multidisciplinary collaborative research to further our understanding of the causes of all types of diabetes, as well as prevention and treatment of the diseases with an emphasis on the local community and beyond.  We work closely with clinical colleagues at Barts Health NHS Trust, local Clinical Commissioning Groups (Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, City and Hackney), and public health.

 

Professor Graham Hitman’s and Dr Elena Bochukova principal research is on genomics (genetic and epigenetic) of diabetes and obesity. They are part of the wider Barts diabetes and obesity research group. The Bochukova group’s main work is the identification of variants linked to human obesity and related measures and their functional relevance to metabolic phenotypes; this work interfaces with Hitman, Finer and van Heel. Prof Hitman together with  Sarah Finer's research interest is directed to people from South Asia focussing on genomics and prevention strategies in high risk populations.  For instance, one  of the current program includes genomic and lifestyle predictors of foetal outcome relevant to diabetes and obesity in South Asians living in Europe or their home countries. This work also has a complementary interface with other investigators in the Centre (Professors  Vardhman Rakyan and  David van Heel) and that of Primary Care and Public Health(Professors  Khan and  Thangaratinam). 

 



 

Our main areas of research are:

1. Genomics (gene hunting in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, obesity and complications)
 
    Academic leads: Graham Hitman,  Elena Bochukova David Leslie
 
    Other QMUL investigators: David van Heel

 

2. Gene-environment interactions and epigenetics (including foetal programming)
 
    Academic leads: Graham Hitman, Sarah Finer, David Leslie
 
    Other QMUL investigators: Vardhman Rakyan

 

3. Autoimmunity and prevention strategies in Type 1 Diabetes
 
    Academic leads: David Leslie and Paolo Pozzilli

 

4. Prevention of type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes
 
    Academic leads: Sarah Finer, Graham Hitman
 
    Other QMUL investigators: Shakila Thangaratinam, Graham MacGregor

 

5. Improving care for people living with diabetes
   
   Academic leads: Sarah Finer,  Graham Hitman
 
   Other QMUL investigators: Normal Fenton, William Marsh, Aylin Baysan

 

6. Investigation of novel agents in the treatment of diabetes and renal disease 
 
   Academic leads: David Leslie, Simon Coppack, Bobby Huda, Tas Chowdhury
   
   Other QMUL investigators: Magdi Yaqoob

Major research grants:

 

1. GIFTS: Genomic and lifestyle predictors of foetal outcome relevant to diabetes and obesity and their relevance to prevention strategies in South Asian peoples. EU FP7, 3 million Euros, 2012-6. http://www.gifts-project.eu. Co-ordinator Hitman

 

2. BLUEPRINT Project: Epigenetics of Type 1 Diabetes in Identical Twins EU FP7. WP leader Leslie

 

3. COMBAT Type 1: To examine the effect of blockade of immunological co-stimulation on auto-reactive T cells in type 1 diabetes. PI Leslie

 

4. TOGETHER study: Can group clinics deliver better care to young adults with diabetes? NIHR HS+DR 15/25/20, £382,000, 2016-2019 CI Finer https://www.journalslibrary.nihr.ac.uk/projects/152520/#/

 

5. Patient Managed Decision-Support using Bayesian Networks (PAMBAYESIAN). EPSRC grant, PI Norman Fenton CoPIs: Marsh, Morrissey, Neil, Curzon, Alomainy, Hitman, Patel, Humby, Collier, Huda, Brown. EPSRC £1,539,497 May 2017-April 2020 Grant number EP/P009964/1 

 

6. Identification of barriers to effective diabetes management for people with severe mental illness (SMI): Development work for an intervention to improve diabetes healthcare and self-care in SMI. Mulligan K, McBain H, Simpson A, Priebe S, Haddad M, Hitman GA, Hull S, Hilton N,Jones J, Flood C Newman S. Bart and The London Charity. Grant Reference Number: 477/2314 £33,594.00 2015-2016

 

7. Glucose Lowering In Non-diabetic hyperglycaemia Trial (GLINT)? HTA NIHR. Giffin S, Wareham N, Simmons R, Sharp S, Davies M, Khunti K, Hitman GA, Rutter M, Holman R, Greaves C, Millward A, Evans P, Sattar N, Petrie J, Gray A. £625,008 for pilot. QMUL does not get any money from the pilot; end date Dec 2016

  

8. Prevention of Diabetes Complications in people with Hyperglycaemia in Europe; FP7-HEALTH-2011-two-stage. Co-ordinating person J Tuomilehto. GAH contribution is genetics £98,000 2012-31st Dec 2017

 

9. Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease – Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation – Dr Will Alazawi

 

10. Diabetes and Kidney Disease. Prof Magdi Yaqoob Barts and The London Charity £4million

 

11. Action on sugar Prof Graham Macregor

http://www.actiononsugar.org/146034.html

MBBS Undergraduate curriculum: core lectures, problem-based learning, clinical teaching

 

 

MSc Diabetes and Endocrinology

 

BSc Global Health

 

MSc Global Public Health and Policy

 

 

Core academic team:

 
Professor of Molecular Medicine and Diabetes / Director - Blizard Institute, Centre for Genomics and Child Health.
 
Professor of Diabetes and Autoimmunity / Centre Lead, Centre for Immunobiology.
 
Professor of Diabetes and Clinical Research. Centre for Immunobiology
 
Clinical Senior Lecturer in Diabetes. Women’s Health Research Unit
 
Lecturer in Genomics. Centre for Genomics and Child Health
 
Reader in Metabolic Medicine. Centre for Cell Biology and Cutaneous Research
 
Prof Barbara Boucher
Emeritus Professor of Diabetes

 

Research support and delivery team:

Dr Gill Hood
Diabetes Research Manager. Diabetes Research Network
 
Dr Salma Samsuddin
Research Project Coordinator. Diabetes Centre
 
Ms Tania Cordeiro
Clinical Research Nurse. NIHR Clinical Research Network
 
Mr Ken Ashida
Study Delivery Officer. NIHR Clinical Research Network
 
Ms Anne Worthington
Study Delivery Officer
 
Dr Mohammed Hawa
Project Manager. Centre for Immunobiology
 
William Ogunkolade
Research assistant. Centre for Genomics and Child Health

 

North Thames Clinical Research Network
Division 2

 

Clinical Research fellows:

Dr Sam Jerram
Clinical Research Fellow, Diabetes and Immunobiology
Supervisor: Prof David Leslie, Centre for Immunobiology, Blizard Institute, QMUL

 

Dr Niki Margari
Clinical Research Fellow in Diabetes
Supervisor: Dr Sarah Finer. Women’s Health Research Unit, Blizard Institute, QMUL

 

Dr Meera Ladwa
Clinical Research Fellow in Diabetes
Supervisor: Dr Sarah Finer. Women’s Health Research Unit, Blizard Institute, QMUL
 
 
Dr Donata Iacovacco
Diabetes UK Clinical Training Fellow
Supervisor: Prof Marta Korbonits. Centre for Endocrinology, William Harvey Institute

 

Other QMUL academic investigators

Centre for Genomics and Child Health, Blizard Institute, QMUL
 
Institute of Dentistry, QMUL
 
Centre for Immunobiology, Blizard Institute, QMUL
 
Women’s Health Research Unit, Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Blizard Institute, QMUL
 
School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, QMUL
 
School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, QMUL
 
Dr John Robson
Clinical Effectiveness Group. Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Blizard Institute, QMUL
 
Centre for Genomics and Child Health, Blizard Institute, QMUL
 
Centre for Endocrinology, William Harvey Institute, QMUL
 
Experimental Medicine & Pharmacology, William Harvey Institute
 
Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine. Wollfson Institute of Preventative Medicine, QMUL

 

 

Key clinical colleagues

Dr Karl Metcalfe
Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology. Barts Health Diabetes Network Lead. Barts Health NHS Trust
 
Consultant in Diabetes. Bart’s Health NHS Trust
 
Anne Claydon
Nurse Consultant in Diabetes. Barts Health NHS Trust
 
Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology. Barts Health NHS Trust
 
Consultant in Diabetes and Metabolic Medicine. Bart’s Health NHS Trust
 
Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology. Barts Health NHS Trust

 

Consortia

Type 2 Diabetes Collaborative Group (T2DCG)
Genomic Investigation of Statin Therapy (GIST)
Type 1 Diabetes UK Consortium (T1DUK)
Blueprint
GIFTS

Clinical studies currently recruiting

 
  1. NN9828-4150 Study
To assess the effect of an IL21 antagonist and GLP1 agonist on the preservation of beta-cell function in adult subjects with newly diagnosed T1DM as an adjunct to insulin therapy.
For further information, please contact: Tania Cordeiro, Research Nurse, on 020 7882 3916, mobile number 07456 626627, or email tania.cordeiro@bartshealth.nhs.uk
 
  1. DARE (Diabetes Alliance for Research in England)
To assess factors associated with the development of Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes and complication, through collection of environmental, clinical and genetic information from patients and their relatives.
For further information, please contact: Salma Samsuddin, Research Study Co-ordinator, on 020 7882 2592 or email salma.samsuddin@bartshealth.nhs.uk

 

  1. ADDRESS-2 for People with Type 1 Diabetes
To establish a resource to facilitate enrolment into future type 1 diabetes studies through collection of data and blood samples from people with type 1 diabetes within 6 months of diagnosis.
For further information, please contact: Ken Ashida, Research Study Coordinator, on 020 7882 8611 or email ken.ashida@bartshealth.nhs.uk: or Anne Worthington, Research Study Coordinator, on 020 7882 8806: email anne.worthington@bartshealth.nhs.uk
 
  1. My Diabetes Study for People with Type 1 & 2 Diabetes
to explore and describe the different types of diabetes that exist in people diagnosed at a young age (under 30 years of age) in the UK, with focus on differences between ethnic groups.
For further information, please contact: Anne Worthington, Research Study Coordinator: on 020 7882 8806 or email anne.worthington@bartshealth.nhs.uk: or Ken Ashida, Research Study Coordinator, on 020 7882 8611 or email kenashida@bartshealth.nhs.uk

 

  1. NAFLD (Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in People with Type 2 Diabetes
To identify ways of quickly and conveniently identifying patients at risk of liver disease, so that treatment can be targeted at those who need it before the development of serious complications.
For further information, please contact: Salma Samsuddin, Research Study Co-ordinator, on 020 7882 2592 or email salma.samsuddin@bartshealth.nhs.uk

 

  1. The Effect of Dental Varnishes on Root Caries in Patients with Diabetes who suffer from Xerostomia
To study the effectiveness of management of root decay without the need for local anaesthesia or ‘drill and fill’ treatment in patents with xerostomia.
For further information, please contact Ken Ashida, Research Study Coordinator, on 020 7882 8611 or email ken.ashida@bartshealth.nhs.uk
 
  1. ALMASED Concept against Overweight and Obesity and Related Health Risks (ACOORH)
To study the effectiveness of ALMASED – a meal replacement product – in facilitating weight loss as compared to diet, exercise and lifestyle advice alone.
For further information, please contact Mutsumi Ono, Consultant Nutritionist, on:
020 7882 8760, or email mutsumi.ono@bartshealth.nhs.uk

General:

 

Blizard Institute Bart’s and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
4 Newark Street
London, E1 2AT
Tel.: +44 (0)207 882 2333

 

 
Clinical studies recruitment:
Mutsumi Ono
Consultant Nutritionist
Tel.: (0)20 7882 8760
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