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The William Harvey Research Institute - Barts and The London

WHRI academic wins prestigious Wellcome Trust Career Re-Entry fellowship for research into Type 2 diabetes

Dr Dunja Aksentijevic, Senior Lecturer in Cardiovascular Physiology and Metabolism at Queen Mary University of London, awarded £630,000 for examining immunometabolic cross-talk in the inflamed type 2 diabetic heart.

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Portrait photo of Dr Dunja Aksentijevic

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) affects over 500 million people worldwide and is one of the biggest health challenges of the modern era. Progression of T2D disrupts the supply of energy to the heart causing it to fail. Currently, there is no treatment to improve heart energy supply in T2D. 

This award further strengthens the world-class inflammation research at the William Harvey Institute at Queen Mary University of London.

On receiving the award Dr Aksentijevic says: “Problems with mitochondria contribute to T2D but what initiates them is unknown. My fellowship will examine whether T cells cause heart inflammation in type 2 diabetes and whether this leads to faulty mitochondria and shortage of energy supply. It aims to develop a new metabolic therapy to prevent destruction of energy supply to the heart in type 2 diabetes by reducing the recruitment of inflammation-causing T-cells.”

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