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Blizard Institute - Barts and The London

Professor Paolo Pozzilli, MB BS, MD

Paolo

Professor of Diabetes and Clinical Research

Centre: Immunobiology

Email: p.p.pozzilli@qmul.ac.uk
Telephone: 020 7882 2482

Profile

 

Professor Paolo Pozzilli, MD, trained in Medicine and specialized in Endocrinology & Metabolic Diseases at Sapienza University of Rome, Italy. He is Professor of Endocrinology and Diabetes at Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome (UCBM) and Professor of Clinical Research (Diabetes) at the Centre of Immunobiology,

Blizard Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

His main research interest is in the field of pathogenesis and prevention of type 1 diabetes (T1D) from basic studies on the disease’s autoimmune mechanisms to clinical trials testing novel therapies. Most relevant international clinical studies he participated as Leader or regional P.I. include ENDIT, TRIGR, ROADMAP, ELIXA, DEFEND, GAD Alum, Action LADA, and more recently EMPAREG, EXSCEL, CANVAS and inTANDEM3 trials. He is deputy leader of the Action LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults) project funded by the EU and the coordinator of a joint international PhD programme in Integrated Biomedical Sciences and Bioethics between UCBM and QMUL. He is Editor in Chief of Diabetes Metabolism Research & Reviews.

He has received several Awards including the Andrew Cudworth Memorial Award by the British Diabetic Association, the Morgagni Award for Best Young Investigator by the International Society of Metabolism, the Prize by the Italian Society of Diabetes, the Marie Kugel Award by the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the Diabetes Honoris Causa by the Paulescu Foundation, the Celso Prize by the Italian Society of Diabetes and the Menarini Award, Joseph Hoet Memorial Lecture by the World Foundation on Diabetes Prevention (2016). He published 515 papers (Pubmed).

 

 

Summary

Research projects focus on the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes (T1DM) taking advantage of a large database of DNA and sera from patients with T1DM and related auto immuno diseases.

Early diagnosis and prevention of beta-cell destruction in patients affected by T1DM and LADA (Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults) are among study priorities. Research focuses on the epidemiological, genetic and immunological aspects of diabetes associating with other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.

In collaboration with academic Institutions in Europe special attention is paid to intervention trials for protection of residual beta cell function in T1DM. More recently studies are ongoing on the use of immunomodulatory drugs at diagnosis at T1DM, thus offering novel approaches for treatment of this condition.

Studies are ongoing to generate insulin producing cells from adult mesenchymal stem cells. The project includes several steps from the establishment of the best conditions for the isolation and culture of mesenchymal stem cells obtained from abdominal fat to their proliferation and differentiation into different cell types such insulin producing cells as well as osteoblasts and condroblasts. These cells have been selected because they are easily obtainable in humans and may be applied safely in translational medicine.

A special link has been established with University Campus Bio-Medico in Rome, Italy, covering the Erasmus exchange programme for undergraduate medical students, a postgraduate PhD programme in Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases and teacher exchange in Diabetes and Metabolic Diseases.

Teaching

MSc, international PhD Programme in Endocrinology and Diabetes.
Modules taught: diabetes

Topics for PhD supervision:

Diabetes, autoimmunity, genetics, beta cell regeneration, immunotherapy of Diabetes.


Research

Research Interests:

Research projects are focused on the identification of novel more sensitive and specific biomarkers for type 1 diabetes (T1D). We have been the first group to identify antibodies to posttranslationally modified insulin (oxPTM-INS-Ab) as a novel biomarker for T1D.  Antibodies to oxPTM-INS-Ab), compared with autoantibodies to native insulin, improve T1D risk assessment and prediction accuracy in autoantibody positive children. We are now testing these and other posttranslationally modified autoantibodies in large cohorts of recent onset T1D patients of different age at disease onset and in subjects at risk for the disease. Another field of research is the identification of diabetes and non diabetes related risk factors associated with multiple bone fractures in T1D since this complication appears to be increased in these patients and no biomarkers are available to detect this complication.

Latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) is a heterogeneous form of diabetes characterized by a less intensive autoimmune process and a broad clinical phenotype compared to T1D and sharing features with type 2 diabetes. Since patients affected by LADA are initially insulin independent and recognizable only by testing for islet-cell autoantibodies, it could be difficult to identify LADA patients in clinical setting. Our ongoing research aims to improve the diagnosis of LADA and to find out how to preserve residual beta-cell function over the years by identifying the most effective treatment of hypeglycaemia in these patients. Since the autoimmune process in LADA seems to be slower than in classical T1DM, there is a wider window for new therapeutic interventions that may slow down beta-cell failure, in particular via modulation of the autoimmune process towards the beta-cells.

Publications

Maddaloni E, Coraggio L, Pieralice S, Carlone A, Pozzilli P, Buzzetti R. Effects of COVID-19 Lockdown on Glucose Control: Continuous Glucose Monitoring Data From People With Diabetes on Intensive Insulin Therapy. Diabetes Care. 2020 Jun 5:dc200954. doi: 10.2337/dc20-0954.  

Pozzilli P, Bosi E, Cirkel D, Harris J, Leech N, Tinahones FJ, Vantyghem MC, Vlasakakis G, Ziegler AG, Janmohamed S Randomized 52-week Phase 2 Trial of Albiglutide Versus Placebo in Adult Patients With Newly Diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes.  J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2020 Jun 1;105(6):dgaa149. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgaa149.J

Gentilella R, Sesti G, Vazquez L, Sapin H, Reed V, Romera I, Pozzilli P. Dulaglutide is an effective treatment for lowering HbA1c in patients with type 2 diabetes regardless of body mass index. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2019 Dec;21(12):2660-2666.

Maddaloni E, Coleman RL, Pozzilli P, Holman RR Long-term risk of cardiovascular disease in individuals with latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (UKPDS 85) Diabetes Obes Metab Sep;21(9):2115-2122.

Pozzilli P, Signore A. The reconstructed natural history of type 1 diabetes mellitus. Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2019 May;15(5):256-257.

Vinci C, Napoli N, Fioriti E, Maddaloni E, Åkerman L, Casas R, Pozzilli P, Ludvigsson J, Nissim A.S. Antibodies to oxidized insulin improve prediction of type 1 diabetes in children with positive standard islet autoantibodies. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2019 May;35(4):e3132. doi: 10.1002/dmrr.3132.

Ibrahim M, Tuomilehto J, Aschner P, Beseler L, Cahn A, Eckel RH, Fischl AH, Guthrie G, Hill JO, Kumwenda M, Leslie RD, Olson DE, Pozzilli P, Weber SL, Umpierrez GE. Ibrahim M. Global status of diabetes prevention and prospects for action: A consensus statement. I. Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2018 Sep;34(6):e3021.

Pozzilli P, Leslie RD, Peters AL, Buzzetti R, Shankar SS, Milicevic Z, Pavo I, Lebrec J, Martin S, Schloot NC. Dulaglutide treatment results in effective glycaemic control in latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA): A post-hoc analysis of the AWARD-2, -4 and -5 Trials.  Diabetes Obes Metab. 2018 Jun;20(6):1490-1498.

Knip M, Åkerblom HK, Al Taji E, Becker D, Bruining J, Castano L, Danne T, de Beaufort C, Dosch HM, Dupre J, Fraser WD, Howard N, Ilonen J, Konrad D, Kordonouri O, Krischer JP, Lawson ML, Ludvigsson J, Madacsy L, Mahon JL, Ormisson A, Palmer JP, Pozzilli P, Savilahti E, Serrano-Rios M, Songini M, Taback S, Vaarala O, White NH, Virtanen SM, Wasikowa R.Writing Group for the TRIGR Study Group, et al. Effect of Hydrolyzed Infant Formula vs Conventional Formula on Risk of Type 1 Diabetes: The TRIGR Randomized Clinical Trial 2018 Jan 2;319(1):38-48.

Garg SK, Henry RR, Banks P, Buse JB, Davies MJ, Fulcher GR, Pozzilli P, Gesty-Palmer D, Lapuerta P, Simó R, Danne T, McGuire DK, Kushner JA, Peters A, Strumph P.Garg SK, et al. Effects of Sotagliflozin Added to Insulin in Patients with Type 1 Diabetes.N Engl J Med. 2017 Dec 14;377(24):2337-2348.


View all Paolo Pozzilli's Research Publications at: http://www.researchpublications.qmul.ac.uk