The work of Professor Hattersley and his team means patients could be spared a lifetime of daily insulin injections. Image courtesy Ulf Sirborn/Karolinska Institutet.

Prestigious award for world-leading diabetes professor

An outstanding diabetes expert at the University of Exeter Medical School has been recognised through a prestigious Royal Society prize.

Professor Andrew Hattersley will receive the GlaxoSmithKline Prize, an international award which is presented every two years for original contributions to medical sciences in the last 10 years. The award is for Professor Hattersley’s work on the genetics of diabetes which, in the common subtypes of monogenic diabetes, has revolutionised patients’ treatment.

Professor Hattersley said: “I am honoured to receive this prize, which recognises the work of the whole Exeter Genetics of Diabetes team. Our outstanding multi-disciplinary team has studied all aspects of monogenic diabetes including gene discovery, clinical diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. We provide diagnostic services and advice on treatment for patients from 86 countries worldwide.”

Professor Hattersley’s team specialises in discovering the genetic causes of diabetes and using this information to give a precise diagnosis and optimal treatment. Their work has made molecular genetic diagnosis of monogenic diabetes essential in routine clinical practice.  They are presently extending their “precision diabetes” approach from the less common genetic forms of diabetes to Type 2 diabetes that affects over 4% of the UK population.

Professor Steve Thornton, Dean of the University of Exeter Medical School, said: “We’re extremely proud of Andrew and his whole team. Their world-leading research has a direct impact on quality of life for families affected by diabetes in the South West and worldwide. The award also reflects teamwork across the NHS and with the patients without whom the work could not have been done.”

Date: 24 July 2015

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