DRWF Research: Dr Shivani Misra named as one of leading health influencers in London
Published on 2 November 2018
DRWF-funded researcher included in the Evening Standard’s annual Progress 1000 list of influential Londoners.
Dr Misra was awarded a place on the influencer’s list for her research into the causes of diabetes found that thousands of patients may have been misdiagnosed because of misconceptions about the role of ethnicity.
Dr Misra set up the DRWF-funded MY DIABETES study in 2013, with recruitment support from the NIHR Clinical Research Network.
The study focuses on classifying types of diabetes in people with young-onset diabetes from different ethnic groups, to investigate the question of ethnicity’s impact on diabetes presentation and type.
Dr Misra said: “I am so happy and grateful that the work we are undertaking to address misclassification of diabetes types in people from different ethnic groups [the MY DIABETES study] has gained recognition in this way.
“The success of the study is really down to all the people with diabetes who have given up their time to participate and the recruiting sites across England who work so hard. Of course, without that initial funding from the DRWF, I would never have got started.
“As an early career clinician scientist I am extremely proud to have been in the Progress 1000 list and I hope with the support of my fantastic clinical and research colleagues we can continue to do important work in this area.”
The MY DIABETES study currently runs at 40 different sites across England, and has recruited more than 1,400 people from South Asian, African-Caribbean or White ethnic backgrounds. One of the key findings from the study was that genetic forms of diabetes are being misdiagnosed in people from ethnic minority groups.
Maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY) is a rare form of diabetes which runs in families and is caused by a mutation in a single gene and is found in all ethnic groups. MODY is very rare compared with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and around 20,000-40,000 people in the UK have it. Unlike type 1 diabetes, people with MODY may not need to take insulin for their condition.
As MODY is so rare, it is estimated that about 80% are mistakenly diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes at first as doctors are not always aware of it.
As part of her research Dr Misra has outlined that healthcare professionals are missing cases of MODY in south Asian and African Caribbean individuals – who then may not receive the right treatment compared with White Europeans.
Dr Misra also found that using broader criteria such as whether a person is making their own insulin identified undiagnosed cases of MODY in non-white ethnic groups. Dr Misra suggested that using these new guidelines could help doctors to better diagnose MODY and refer more patients for genetic testing.
Dr Misra aims to use the findings of her study to stratify patients with young-onset diabetes to improve diagnosis and to deliver precision diabetes care.
Dr Eleanor Kennedy, DRWF Research Manager, said: “I am so pleased that Dr Misra’s contribution to medicine is being acknowledged. As a former DRWF-funded fellow, we knew years ago that she was one to watch and the organisation has continued to follow her progress as she develops her skills and reputation in the world of diabetes research. With awards coming both nationally and internationally, Dr Misra is definitely a force to be reckoned with and, here at DRWF, we couldn’t be happier for her!”