Professor Hattersley will deliver the Banting Memorial Lecture

Exeter academics in star roles at Diabetes UK conference

World-renowned diabetes researchers from the University of Exeter Medical School will give prestigious talks at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference 2018 this week.

Professor Andrew Hattersley, who was recently awarded the CBE for his work in revolutionising diabetes diagnosis and treatment, will deliver the Banting Memorial Lecture, the highest award bestowed by Diabetes UK. The lecture is named after Frederick Banting, whose research resulted in the discovery of insulin, it is awarded to a researcher who is internationally recognised for their eminence in the field of diabetes.

Dr Mike Weedon will deliver the RD Lawrence Lecture, named after the diabetes research pioneer who founded the Diabetes Association in 1934. The lecture is awarded to the best young diabetes researcher working in Britain and it is the 7th time it has been won by an Exeter researcher in the last 14 years.

Professor Hattersley and Dr Weedon were both selected by an expert panel to deliver named lectures at the conference held in London between March 14 and 16. A number of other Exeter researchers are presenting talks or posters at the conference, and four have been shortlisted for prizes.

Professor Hattersley will deliver a talk entitled “Diagnosing diabetes subtypes improves clinical care”. He said: “It’s a very exciting time to be working in diabetes research as in all types of diabetes we are getting better at matching the right treatment to the right patient and are seeing these advances being taken up throughout the world. This award is tribute to the fantastic research team we have at Exeter, who are dedicated to improving lives for people with diabetes.”

Dr Weedon, consistently one of the University’s most highly-cited researchers, will give a talk entitled “Using the genomic key to unlock the secrets of diabetes”.

Dr Weedon said: “I’m delighted to be invited to share Exeter’s outstanding research with leading academics. It’s great to see such a strong showing from our team at the conference, as sharing in this way can mean even greater impact of our work.

Four Exeter academics have been shortlisted for prizes to be announced at the conference. They are:

  • Kash Patel: Young diabetologist & endocrinologist trainee award.

  • Terrence Chan and Ealaff Shakweh: posters shortlisted for Lilly diabetes Clinical Science Poster Award.

  • Jessica Chaffey: Lilly Poster Prize in Basic Science.

Dr Emily Burns, Head of Research Communications at Diabetes UK, said: “We are delighted that Professor Andrew Hattersley and Dr Mike Weedon will be delivering such prestigious lectures at the Diabetes UK Professional Conference this year. From early grants awarded to the Exeter genetics team in 1995, to potentially ground-breaking research today, Diabetes UK is proud to have supported the University of Exeter Medical School for many years.”

Some types of diabetes are caused by a single altered genomic base among three billion in the genome. The Exeter team has discovered which genetic mutations cause15 different genetic types of diabetes. They provide a diagnostic genetic service that provides testing for patients in 97 countries worldwide.

For more information about diabetes research at Exeter, visit: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/diabetes/

Date: 13 March 2018

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