Blizard Institute - Barts and The London

Dr Sarah Finer, MBBS MRCP PhD


Clinical Senior Lecturer in Diabetes Honorary Consultant in Diabetes

Telephone: 020 7882 7326


Sarah is Clinical Senior Lecturer in Diabetes at the Centre for Primary Care and Public Health. She studied medicine at University College London, and undertook specialist and academic training in Diabetes and Endocrinology in east London. She was an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellow at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, and was awarded an MRC Clinical Training Fellowship for her PhD, awarded in 2013, supervised by Prof Graham Hitman. Prior to completing her specialist clinical training, she was an NIHR Clinical Lecturer at the University of Cambridge, and she then returned to east London to take up her current clinical and academic role. Her research has focused on type 2 diabetes, particularly affecting people in high risk populations such as people of South Asian heritage and women with gestational diabetes. Her PhD used epigenomic studies to investigate the possible mechanisms underlying the early developmental origins of type 2 diabetes. Since then, she has developed her research interest further into population health, through a major community genomics and health research programme, East London Genes and Health, and using health services-orientated research. 

Sarah works as a Consultant in Diabetes at Barts Health NHS Trust, specialising in:

  • type 1 diabetes (including pump therapy)

  • complex type 2 diabetes

  • diabetes in pregnancy

  • partnership working with primary care

Centre:  Centre for Primary Care and Public Health .


Research Interests:

East London Genes & Health 

  • Sarah is Deputy Lead of East London Genes & Health, a large-scale, long-term community health and genomics research programme. This ambitious research programme aims to improve the health of British-Bangladeshis and British-Pakistanis through the study of genomics (especially novel, rare variants) and high quality health data (multi-source electronic health records). At the time of writing (October 2019), 44,000 volunteers have participated, with funding (Wellcome Trust) to reach 100,000. A cohort profile is available here.
  • Sarah has study-wide roles as part of the East London Genes & Health Executive, including supporting core health data science, community-based study activities, and supporting external research with international and industrial collaborators. 

  • Sarah leads work investigating type 2 diabetes, obesity and multimorbidity, aiming at improving health and individual and population-level in people who are living at high risk, yet are understudied in research. My work spans population-level analysis using health data science/epidemiological and genomic investigation, and translational medicine approaches including novel recall-by-genotype studies of individuals with rare, loss-of-function gene variants.
  • Principal investigator on the following related grants: (i) MRC grant, "Multimorbidity clusters, trajectories and genetic risk in British south Asians” with co-investigators David van Heel, Hilary Martin, Rohini Mathur, Sally Hull, (ii) Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation pump-priming award, “Uncovering novel, rare genetic causes of type 2 diabetes in people of Bangladeshi and Pakistani heritage participating in East London Genes and Health”, with co-investigators including Mark McCarthy, Graham Hitman, Elena Bochukova 


Improving the care of people living with diabetes and multimorbidity

  • Improving the care of young adults living with diabetes: Principal Investigator, NIHR Health Service and Delivery Research grant, "Can group clinics offer a better way to meet the complex health and social care needs of young adults with diabetes in an ethnically diverse, socioeconomically deprived population?”. 

  • Improving the care of women with gestational diabetes: I am part of the PAM-Bayesian research programme (EPSRC-funded, PI, Norman Fenton from the QMUL School of Engineering and Computer Science) and supervise Bridget Daley (PhD student).

  • Social prescribing: Developing preventative approaches that address the social determinants of type 2 diabetes in high risk populations, funded via a LISS-DTP, ESRC-funded PhD fellowship awarded to Sara Calderon)

  • Multimorbidity: investigating the links between HIV and cardiometabolic multimorbidity using linked routine health data (Academic Clinical Fellow, Miriam Samuel)



Diabetes and Obesity Research Group

 I support a range of NIHR CRN portfolio and non-portfolio studies in diabetes and obesity with patients at Barts Health NHS Trust and east London CCGs


For a full list of publications please visit my public orcid profile