COLLEGE OF MEDICINE AND HEALTH
Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions

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Professor Inês Barroso

Professor Inês Barroso

Professor of Diabetes

 +44 (0) 1392 408221

 RILD Building 

 

University of Exeter Medical School, RILD Building, RD&E Hospital Wonford, Barrack Road, Exeter, EX2 5DW, UK

Overview

Inês obtained her BSc (“Licenciatura”) degree in Biology from the University of Lisbon (1992), before moving to the University of Cambridge where she was awarded a PhD in Human Molecular Genetics (1996).  After her PhD, she was a founding scientist at a start-up biotechnology company (Hexagen, later bought by Incyte) where she became Director of Diabetes Target Validation. In 2002, Inês moved to the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute where she worked for 16 years, which included serving as Head of the Human Genetics programme for 6 years. Prior to joining the University of Exeter (Jan 2020), she spent a year at the MRC Epidemiology Unit as Director of Research, Mechanisms of Metabolic Disease. 

Inês has over 20 years of experience in the field of human genetics applied to human disease.  With more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters, she is ranked as one of the most cited researchers in her field.  Her research traverses both the monogenic and polygenic fields and focuses on the genetic aetiology and mechanisms of type 2 diabetes, obesity, rare forms of these conditions (e.g. childhood onset obesity and syndromes of insulin action), and related quantitative traits. With collaborators, she has discovered many of the genes underpinning syndromes of insulin resistance, as well as being involved in obesity gene discovery, or mouse follow-up studies. Since 2009, she has led MAGIC (Meta-Analysis of Glucose and Insulin-related traits Consortium), a consortium meta-analysing genome-wide association studies to uncover loci associated with glycaemic traits. Within the context of MAGIC, her group has identified the vast majority of established loci influencing glycaemic measures within healthy physiological range. In addition to her genetic research, Inês is undertaking further genomic, biological and physiological studies to shed light on the aetiology, mechanisms and biology of type 2 diabetes.

Qualifications

  • 2003 – MSc, Genetic Epidemiology, University of Pavia, Italy
  • 1996 – PhD, Human Molecular Genetics, University of Cambridge, UK
  • 1992 – BSc. (“Licenciatura”), Biology, University of Lisbon, Portugal

Links

Research

Research interests

Inês leads a multidisciplinary team which focuses on identifying new genes and loci involved in type 2 diabetes, obesity and related traits particularly, insulin resistance. Ultimately her aim is to take those gene discoveries into new understanding of the mechanisms and biology underlying type 2 diabetes and obesity. To do this, Inês’ research combines both experimental and computational approaches to link genetic variants and genes to function and biological pathways.

Research projects

Current Projects:

  • Genome-wide trans-ethnic analyses of glycaemic traits
  • Trans-ethnic fine-mapping of glycaemic loci
  • Investigation of new genes and pathways involved in obesity and glycaemic traits related to type 2 diabetes
  • From variant to function – uncovering the cells, tissues and biological pathways impacted by glycaemic trait association loci and how they may influence type 2 diabetes risk
  • Impact of genetic variation on type 2 diabetes risk, diagnosis and complications in ancestrally diverse populations

External Engagement and Impact

Awards

  • Thomas Reuter Highly Cited Scientist and “World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds (2014-present)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology (FRSB) (2011-present)
  • Fellow of Darwin College (Cambridge) (2015-2019)
  • Ciência Viva Portugal Mulheres na Ciência (Tribute to Women in Science) (2016)
  • Scholarship of J.N.I.C.T (National Agency for Research) (1994-1996)
  • Commission of the European Communities, “Human Genome Analysis Programme”, Personal Research Bursary (1992-1993)

 


Committee/panel activities

  • Diabetes UK Research Committee
  • Diabetes UK, IDia Faculty (Innovators in Diabetes)
  • SAB member, Scottish Genomes Partnership (SGP)
  • SAB member, NHGRI-EBI GWAS Catalog
  • SAB member, Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Oxford
  • Member of Jury for Novartis Health Science Accelerator - Programa SciCARE (Portugal)
  • Accelerating Detection of Disease genotyping chip design committee member
  • Member, Darwin College (Cambridge) Strategic Planning Committee (2016-2019)
  • External Diabetes Expert, Interview Panel member, Novo Nordisk Fellowship Programme, Oxford (May 2019)
  • Wellcome Trust Investigator Awards Expert Review Group; Genetics, Genomics and Population Research Panel Member (2011 – 2014)
  • Site Committee member of the evaluation of the Helmholtz (Berlin) Research-Programme "Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disease" (2013)

Editorial responsibilities

  • Specialty Chief Editor, Frontiers in Genetic Disorders
  • Faculty1000 Computational Genomics & Genetic Analyses
  • Editorial Board, Global Health, Epidemiology and Genomics
  • Editorial Board Member, Diabetologia  (2013 – 2015)
  • Associate Editor, Diabetologia (2010 – 2012)

Invited lectures

(from 2016)

  • Genomic Medicine, 20-21 November 2019, Cambridge “The genetic lottery of obesity and thinness”
  • Novo Nordisk Fellowship Symposium Plenary Speaker, Oxford 2nd October 2019 “Genomic and Expression Signatures of Glycaemic Traits”
  • EASD, 16-19 September 2019, Barcelona “Unravelling the genetic aetiology of severe obesity”
  • Helmholtz Munich, 19th February 2019 “A journey of metabolic discovery: from rare disease and rare variant, to common trait and common variant”
  • University of Leeds 13th February 2019 “Genomic and Expression Signatures of Glycaemic Traits”
  • University of Exeter Medical School 28th November 2018 “Genetic studies of glycaemic traits provide insights into the biology of type 2 diabetes”
  • Wellcome Trust Advanced Course “Genetic Analysis of Mendelian and Complex Disorders”, 1-24 July 2018, Keynote Lecture
  • Quantitative Genomics 2018, 14th June 2018, UCL, London “Genomic and expression signatures of glycaemic traits”, Keynote speaker
  • Wellcome Centre Human Genetics, Oxford 11th June “A journey of metabolic discovery: from rare disease and rare variant, to common trait and common variant”
  • Towards a Functional Understanding of the Diabetic Genome, NIDDK meeting, April 23‐24 2018. “Genomic and Expression Signatures of Glycemic Traits”
  • Twelfth annual Angeline Heaton Lecture for the Human Medical Genetics and Genomics Program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, 22 Feb 2018 “Genes influencing type 2 diabetes, obesity and related traits”
  • Institute for Behavioral Genetics, Colloquium, CU Boulder Campus, 23 Feb 2018 “Genes influencing type 2 diabetes, obesity and related traits”
  • Plenary Lecture, Biomarkers and Assay Development Course, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon, 6-10 Feb2017“Genomic Approaches to Metabolic Disease”
  • Keynote Speaker, Target Validation using Genomics and Informatics, EMBL Heidelberg, Germany 4 - 6 Dec 2016 “Impact of genetic variation on type 2 diabetes risk, diagnosis and complications in ancestrally diverse populations”
  • APCDR workshop “Big Data for Health in Africa” invited speaker “The Uganda Genome Project”, 3-4 Nov 2016
  • TGAC, Norwich Seminar, 26th Oct 2016, “Genes and Metabolism”
  • EMBO Workshop on Cell Size Regulation, 14 – 18 Sep 2016,  Joachimsthal, Germany, Keynote “Genes influencing metabolism and size”
  • Plenary Lecture, Biomarkers and Assay Development Course, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon, 6-10 Feb2017“Genomic Approaches to Metabolic Disease”
  • Keynote Speaker, Target Validation using Genomics and Informatics, EMBL Heidelberg, Germany 4 - 6 Dec 2016 “Impact of genetic variation on type 2 diabetes risk, diagnosis and complications in ancestrally diverse populations”
  • APCDR workshop “Big Data for Health in Africa” invited speaker “The Uganda Genome Project”, 3-4 Nov 2016
  • TGAC, Norwich Seminar, 26th Oct 2016, “Genes and Metabolism”
  • EMBO Workshop on Cell Size Regulation, 14 – 18 Sep 2016,  Joachimsthal, Germany, Keynote “Genes influencing metabolism and size”

 

Teaching

Inês would be pleased to supervise research post-graduate students in her research specialism areas. If any of these are of interest please email her.

Supervision / Group

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