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Blizard Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Professor David Leslie, MB BS, MRCS, MD, FRCP, FAoP


Professor of Diabetes and Autoimmunity

Centre: Immunobiology

Telephone: 020 7882 2358


Richard David Leslie was elected President of the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland in 2012. He was a Wellcome Trust Senior Fellow in Clinical Science and an MRC Travelling Fellow. As Principle Investigator of three major European Union programmes (BLUEPRINT, Action LADA and EXALT) he is a leader in four areas of diabetes research, including the epigenetics and twin studies of autoimmune diabetes, nature of adult-onset autoimmune diabetes and immunotherapy of type 1 diabetes respectively. He was Founding Chairman of T1DUK, a UK national consortium, principle of Action LADA, a European consortium, Director of British Diabetic Twin Study and Director of Mendel Institute, Rome.

His international reputation is reflected in special lectures e.g. Royal College of Physicians (London), Silver Jubilee Oration (India), O’Meara Lecture (Ireland); organising and chairing international meetings e.g. NIH (USA), Danish Diabetes Academy (2014), International Immunology of Diabetes Society meeting (London 2018), 15 European Association for Study of Diabetes satellite meetings. He is Emeritus Professor to Central South University (China) and University of Rome (Italy).

He first described early environmental events as a cause of type 1 diabetes, persistent immune changes as predictors of diabetes and championed the concept of type 1 diabetes as a broad clinical, genetic and immunological spectrum in which adult-onset autoimmune diabetes is prevalent. He also first reported Genome and Epigenome Wide Association Studies in both adult-onset and childhood-onset type 1 diabetes, heritability determining haemoglobin A1c, early glucose changes in pregnancy associated with congenital malformations and early metabolic changes before the onset of type 2 diabetes.




Professor David Leslie has been Professor of Diabetes and Autoimmunity at the Blizard Institute, University of London He has published 12 books and more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and received grants from many agencies including the EU, Wellcome Trust and MRC. In 2012 he was elected President of the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland. He ran the Diabetes Department at St Bartholomews Hospital, London with extensive experience of all aspects of diabetes, having previously been a consultant at Kings College Hospital. 


I am Lead Professor of the International Medical Faculty at University of Rome. I also lecture on MSc courses at Queen Mary (Therapy of Inflammatory Diseases) and Kings College (Diabetes).


Research Interests:

Current programmes are based in London, Philadelphia and China. They involve studies to promote the concept of type 1 diabetes as a broad clinical, genetic and immunological spectrum in which adult-onset autoimmune diabetes is prevalent. He is also extending the Epigenome Wide Association Studies in type 1 diabetes in collaboration with other BLUEPRINT colleagues.


Key Publications

Adult-Onset Type 1 Diabetes: Current Understanding and Challenges. Leslie RD, Evans-Molina C, Freund-Brown J, Buzzetti R, Dabelea D, Gillespie KM, Goland R, Jones AG, Kacher M, Phillips LS, Rolandsson O, Wardian JL, Dunne JL. Diabetes Care. 2021 Nov;44(11):2449-2456. doi: 10.2337/dc21-0770.PMID: 34670785

Increased spontaneous CCL2 (MCP-1) and CCL5 (RANTES) secretion in vitro in LADA compared to type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes: Action LADA 14. Ooms M, Strom A, Strassburger K, Menart B, Leslie RD, Schloot NC. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2021 Oct;37(7):e3431. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.3431. Epub 2021 Jan 16.PMID: 333690723

Diabetes: Concepts of β-Cell Organ Dysfunction and Failure Would Lead to Earlier Diagnoses and Prevention. Charles MA, Leslie RD. Diabetes. 2021 Nov;70(11):2444-2456. doi: 10.2337/dbi21-0012.PMID: 34711669

Improving clinical utility of GAD65 autoantibodies by electrochemiluminescence assay and clinical phenotype when identifying autoimmune adult-onset diabetes. Gu Y, Jia X, Vartak T, Miao D, Dong F, Jerram ST, Rewers M, Ferrara A, Lawrence JM, Yu L, Leslie RD; Action LADA consortium and the Diabetes in Young Adults (DiYA) Study Group. Diabetologia. 2021 Sep;64(9):2052-2060. doi: 10.1007/s00125-021-05492-6. Epub 2021 Jul 16.PMID: 34272582

Anti-interleukin-21 antibody and liraglutide for the preservation of β-cell function in adults with recent-onset type 1 diabetes: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial. von Herrath M, Bain SC, Bode B, Clausen JO, Coppieters K, Gaysina L, Gumprecht J, Hansen TK, Mathieu C, Morales C, Mosenzon O, Segel S, Tsoukas G, Pieber TR; Anti-IL-21–liraglutide Study Group investigators and contributors.Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2021 Apr;9(4):212-224. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(21)00019-X

All Publications


Dr Samuel Jerram

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