The team has helped change the way some types of diabetes are diagnosed and treated globally, leading to better outcomes for patients.

Outstanding diabetes research team awarded four times over

The world leading Exeter team that research diabetes diagnosis and treatment has ratcheted up a string of prestigious international awards that recognise their revolutionary contribution across the world.

Professor Andrew Hattersley, the Gillings Professor of Precision Medicine, at the University of Exeter Medical School, leads a team that has helped change the way some types of diabetes are diagnosed and treated globally, leading to better outcomes for patients.

In recognition of this world-leading work, he has won four prestigious awards in the last 12 months. In addition, he has recently been named as one of the world’s most influential laboratory medicine professionals by appearing in The Pathologist’s Power List top ten.

The four awards were: the Royal Society’s GlaxoSmithKline Prize, international award which is presented every two years for original contributions to medical sciences in the last decade; the 2015 Rolf Luft Award, presented annually by the Karolinska Institute in Sweden for excellence in the fields of endocrinology and diabetes worldwide; the Clinical Endocrinology Trust award, for clinical research from a European endocrinologist which is at the forefront of clinical practice; and finally he collected the Albert Renold Award, presented by the European Association for the Study of Diabetes presented to acknowledge an individual's outstanding contributions to the advancement of knowledge in the field of research into islets (the insulin producing structures in the pancreas).

Over the last 21 years Professor Hattersley has co-led with Professor Sian Ellard an Exeter based research team that specialises in discovering new genetic subtypes of diabetes and defining the best treatment and clinical care for them. Their work has bought molecular diagnostic testing into routine clinical practice in diabetes throughout the world. This work has started from humble beginnings; in 1995 when Andrew and Sian started they had to establish the first genetic laboratory in the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital and the only research staff were a single post-doctoral researcher and a PhD student. Now Prof Ellard’s state of the art laboratory in the RILD building provides both research and NHS diagnostic testing for all the UK and for over 80 countries worldwide and employs over 50 staff. They have published over 500 papers and raised over £50M in grants.

Professor Hattersley said: “These awards recognise the work of all the fantastic scientists working in diabetes genetics in Exeter both in the Medical School and NHS. It has been both stimulating and fun to work with such a wonderful group of bright, innovative, enthusiastic and good humoured people”.

Date: 15 April 2016

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