United Through Diabetes - Meet Our Researchers
Professor Susan Wong
F. Susan Wong is currently Professor of Experimental Diabetes and Metabolism at Cardiff University and Honorary Consultant Physician in Diabetes at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff. She has many years of research into the causes of type 1 diabetes, focusing on the role of the adaptive immune system, particularly CD8 T cells and B cells, as well as innate immunity related to the gut microbiome. She has interests in the development of immunotherapy for Type 1 diabetes, and is a member of the Type 1 Diabetes UK Immunotherapy Consortium, supporting clinical trials in the immunotherapy of Type 1 diabetes.
Professor Paul Squires
University of Lincoln
Paul Squires is Professor of Biomedical Science and Lead of the Diabetes, Metabolism & Inflammation Group at the University of Lincoln. As Fellow of the Physiological Society, Paul has 35 years experience in diabetes and endocrinology and has worked in several research institutions, including the University of Sheffield, University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and King’s College London.
Professor Claire Hills
University of Lincoln
Claire Hills is Professor of Renal Physiology and Head of kidney research at the University of Lincoln. Celebrating women in Physiology, Claire was the recipient of the biannual 2019 Joan Mott Prize Lecture (The Physiological Society), and is a champion of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
Dr Rebecca Spiers
University of Oxford
Rebecca manages the DRWF Human Islet Isolation Facility in Oxford. The Islet Facility is a purpose-built cleanroom unit, commissioned and maintained with generous support from the DRWF. The Facility isolates (extracts) pancreatic islet cells from deceased donor pancreases. The islets are used for transplantation in patients with Type 1 Diabetes who have unstable diabetes with severe complications. Rebecca has been a part of the Islet Isolation Team since 2014. She completed her doctorate under the supervision of Prof Paul Johnson, the Facility Director
Dr Richard Hulse
Nottingham Trent University
Richard's research programme focuses upon dissecting the mechanisms underpinning diabetic neuropathic pain to inform the development of new or refined therapeutic interventions. The work explores how neurons that control our perception of pain can be damaged due to diabetes. In people living with diabetes, high levels of sugar as well as other metabolic factors such as obesity initiate molecular changes in these neurons as well as other aspects of the nervous system that controls pain. He has identified that hypoxia responsive factors respond to these changes causing diabetic neuropathic pain.
Dr Stephanie J. Hanna
Stephanie Hanna is currently the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation Professor David Matthews Research Fellows at Cardiff University. Her research interests focus on the immune processes that drive type 1 diabetes and how they can be prevented. She specialises in the cutting-edge technique of single cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) to analyse the immune cells involved in type 1 diabetes as they respond to components of the insulin-producing beta cells. She also applies these techniques to examine responses to immunotherapies for type 1 diabetes in clinical trials.
Dr Shivani Misra
Imperial College London
Dr Shivani Misra is a Consultant in Diabetes and Metabolic Medicine at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and a diabetes researcher in Imperial College London. She set up the MY DIABETES study as a PhD student, to examine types of diabetes in different ethnic groups and received the Sutherland-Earl Clinical Research Fellowship from the DRWF to fund this. Her current clinical activity focuses on people with diabetes diagnosed at young age with unusual types of diabetes and on young-onset type 2 diabetes. Dr Misra was a recipient of the prestigious European Federation for the Study of Diabetes Future Leaders Mentorship Award in 2017.
Kelly is a diabetes specialist nurse currently working as a transition outreach nurse with young adults aged 19-25. Kelly has been living with type 1 diabetes for 10 years. She has an interest in diabetes research and enjoyed a secondment in research where she was able to co-lead on an underserved communities project. Kelly is interested in diabetes and mental health, improving care for young adults and for those with a cognitive impairment and type one diabetes. Kelly is also co-founder of a peer support service, Sugarbuddies, which operates in Hampshire and Dorset.
Nay has been living with type 1 diabetes for 16 years. After participating in several research projects herself, Nay went on to work in two different areas of diabetes research in the NHS: young adults with diabetes, and cognitive impairment in people with T1D. A few years ago, Nay discovered peer support, she found it life changing and has since made lots of friends in the diabetes community, both in person and online. Nay loves to travel & explore, she has a Jack-a-poo pup called Oscar and they both enjoy beach days and hiking (and naps too).
Dr Kash Patel
University of Exeter
Kash Patel is a Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow and Consultant Physician in Diabetes and Endocrinology. His main area of research includes understanding the genetics of diabetes with a focus on Monogenic and Type 1 diabetes. His research uses next-generation sequencing technology and large data sets to improve diagnosis and understanding of monogenic diabetes in humans. He was a Wellcome Trust PhD Research Fellow in prestigious MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit in Dundee where he was awarded his PhD studying the glucose metabolism in the liver. After his PhD, he obtained Wellcome Trust Postdoctoral Fellowship to study monogenic diabetes in Exeter with by Professor Andrew Hattersley and Professor Sian Ellard. He is the recipient of prestigious Young Investigator awards from Diabetes UK and EASD-SGGD for his work in monogenic diabetes.
Dr Victoria Salem
Imperial College London
Victoria is a Senior Clinical Lecturer in Bioengineering at Imperial College London and Honorary Consultant in Diabetes, Endocrinology and General Internal Medicine. Her research interests are in neuroendocrinology and the gut brain axis as applied to the treatment of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. She was the recipient of the first Diabetes UK Harry Keen fellowship. Her lab has established longitudinal imaging of pancreatic islets, which has led to ground-breaking insights into the coordinated behaviour of the islet as a functional unit. She has also studied the physiological effects of combination gut hormones and bariatric surgery on food reward processing (fMRI), glucose metabolism and energy expenditure in humans. She has developed novel imaging techniques to investigate brown adipose tissue physiology and is working on complex vagal deafferentation models to investigate gut-brain signalling, with a view to discovering novel drug targets for obesity and diabetes. She is committed to making clinical academia more inclusive and has won the Julia Higgins award for her "powerful advocacy for female academic staff, and her formal and informal mentorship of junior academics."
Dr Nerys Astbury
Nerys M Astbury is a Senior Research in Diet & Obesity at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford. Her research has focused on developing and testing effective weight loss interventions, with a particular emphasis on preventing and managing diabetes. More recently she has been exploring methods of weight management in women before, during and after pregnancy, with relevance to diabetes that exists of develop before during and after pregnancy and the impact of these conditions on longer term health in the mother and her infant.
Meet our Speakers
We are very happy to have had such a wonderful line-up of guest speakers at United Through Diabetes. These leading diabetes experts from the NHS and diabetes arena where with us all day to share their knowledge, expertise and commitment to supporting people living with diabetes.
Talks and workshops covered topics such as:
I would like to make a regular donation of
I would like to make a single donation of