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University of Exeter Medical School

Dr Mark Russell

Dr Mark Russell


 01392 408282

 RILD Building 


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



  • Bsc (Hons) Biological Sciences
  • MRes Marine Biology
  • PhD


My BSc and MRes were conducted at the University of Plymouth, the latter in conjuction with the Marine Biological Association of the UK where I studies plankton during my research project. Although this was facinating, I moved from Marine Biology to Human Health in 2005 when I joined Prof. Noel Morgan's Islet Biology Team as a lab technician at the then Peninsula Medical School. Since that time I have completed my PhD under the guidance of Prof. Morgan,  was then funded as a post-doc in the team thereafter. I was appointed to a tenured E & R Lecturer position at the University of Exeter Medical School in 2019.

Research group links

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Research interests

My research interests centre around the study of the JAK/STAT signal transduction cascade in pancreatic islet cells, both in the context of health and disease, particularly diabetes. These pathways are activated by an array of differential cytokines, growth factors and hormones, and culminate in either beneficial and detrimental effects cells depending on the identity of the initial stimuli. I have studied the impact of a number of the soluble factors which stimulate this pathway on measurements of beta-cell health and function (e.g. viability, insulin secretion or proliferation), and examined the role of JAK/STAT signaling in these responses. Furthermore, I study how these pathways become disregulated in diabetes.

Whilst the majority of these studies are performed in rodent or human clonal beta-cell lines (e.g. INS-1E or EndoC-bH1 cells), where possible they are replicated in human islets. Furthermore, we also have access to the Exeter Archival Diabetes Biobank, a rare collection of post-mortem pancreas samples from individuals with diabetes ( This resource is used validate results generated from in vitro study of cell lines, and to explore how key JAK/STAT pathway components are altered in diabetes.

Research grants

  • 2021 European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes
    JAKMIP1: Putting the brakes on islet HLA class I hyperexpression in type 1 diabetes?
  • 2020 Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation
    Is mitochondrial STAT3 a novel regulator of insulin secretion?
  • 2019 Society for Endocrinology
    Early career research grant. ‘Does the loss of STAT6 contribute to islet HLA class I hyper-expression in type 1 diabetes?’
  • 2015 EFSD
    Subcellular localisation of cell cycle regulatory proteins in human beta-cells: is the current paradigm correct?

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Journal articles

Russell MA, PIgors M, Houssen M, Manson A, Kelsell D, Longhurst H, Morgan NG (In Press). A novel de novo activating mutation in STAT3 identified in a patient with common variable immunodeficiency (CVID). Clinical Immunology
Kronenberg-Versteeg D, Eichmann M, Russell MA, de Ru A, Hehn B, Yusuf N, van Veelen PA, Richardson SJ, Morgan NG, Lemburg MK, et al (In Press). Molecular pathways for immune recognition of preproinsulin signal peptide in type 1 diabetes. Diabetes
Ifie E, Russell M, Dhayal S, Leete P, Sebastiani G, Nigi L, Dotta F, Marjomäki V, Eizirik D, Morgan N, et al (In Press). Unexpected subcellular distribution of a specific isoform of the Coxsackie and adenovirus receptor, CAR-SIV, in human pancreatic beta cells. Diabetologia
Richardson S, Russell M, Wyatt R (In Press). What the HLA-I! – Classical and Non-classical HLA Class I and Their Potential Roles in Type 1 Diabetes. Current Diabetes Reports
Leiding JW, Vogel TP, Santarlas VGJ, Mhaskar R, Smith MR, Carisey A, Vargas-Hernández A, Silva-Carmona M, Heeg M, Rensing-Ehl A, et al (2023). Monogenic early-onset lymphoproliferation and autoimmunity: Natural history of STAT3 gain-of-function syndrome. J Allergy Clin Immunol, 151(4), 1081-1095. Abstract.  Author URL.
Russell MA, Richardson SJ, Morgan NG (2023). The role of the interferon/JAK-STAT axis in driving islet HLA-I hyperexpression in type 1 diabetes. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne), 14 Abstract.  Author URL.
Krogvold L, Leete P, Mynarek IM, Russell MA, Gerling IC, Lenchik NI, Mathews C, Richardson SJ, Morgan NG, Dahl-Jørgensen K, et al (2022). Detection of Antiviral Tissue Responses and Increased Cell Stress in the Pancreatic Islets of Newly Diagnosed Type 1 Diabetes Patients: Results from the DiViD Study. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 13 Abstract.
Dhayal S, Leslie KA, Baity M, Akhbari P, Richardson SJ, Russell MA, Morgan NG (2022). Temporal regulation of interferon signalling in human EndoC-βH1 cells. J Mol Endocrinol, 69(2), 299-313. Abstract.  Author URL.
Leslie KA, Richardson SJ, Russell MA, Morgan NG (2021). Expression of CD47 in the pancreatic β-cells of people with recent-onset type 1 diabetes varies according to disease endotype. Diabet Med, 38(12). Abstract.  Author URL.
Chaffey JR, Young J, Leslie KA, Partridge K, Akhbari P, Dhayal S, Hill JL, Wedgwood KCA, Burnett E, Russell MA, et al (2021). Investigation of the utility of the 1.1B4 cell as a model human beta cell line for study of persistent enteroviral infection. Sci Rep, 11(1). Abstract.  Author URL.
Colli ML, Ramos-Rodríguez M, Nakayasu ES, Alvelos MI, Lopes M, Hill JLE, Turatsinze J-V, Coomans de Brachène A, Russell MA, Raurell-Vila H, et al (2020). An integrated multi-omics approach identifies the landscape of interferon-α-mediated responses of human pancreatic beta cells. Nat Commun, 11(1). Abstract.  Author URL.
Bahal S, Houssen ME, Manson A, Lorenzo L, Russell MA, Morgan NG, Tahami F, Grigoriadou S (2019). Evidence that a STAT3 Mutation Causing Hyper IgE Syndrome Leads to Repression of Transcriptional Activity. Case Reports Immunol, 2019 Abstract.  Author URL.
Russell M, Leete P (2019). Glucocorticoids: novel agents to stimulate beta-cell neogenesis?. Annals of Translational Medicine, 7(8).
Russell MA, Redick SD, Blodgett DM, Richardson SJ, Leete P, Krogvold L, Dahl-Jørgensen K, Bottino R, Brissova M, Spaeth JM, et al (2019). HLA Class II Antigen Processing and Presentation Pathway Components Demonstrated by Transcriptome and Protein Analyses of Islet β-Cells from Donors with Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes, 68(5), 988-1001. Abstract.  Author URL.
King R, Hill JL, Saha B, Tong Y, Strutt BJ, Russell MA, Morgan NG, Richardson SJ, Hill DJ (2019). Offspring of Mice Exposed to a Low-Protein Diet in Utero Demonstrate Changes in mTOR Signaling in Pancreatic Islets of Langerhans, Associated with Altered Glucagon and Insulin Expression and a Lower β-Cell Mass. Nutrients, 11(3). Abstract.  Author URL.
Leslie KA, Russell MA, Taniguchi K, Richardson SJ, Morgan NG (2019). The transcription factor STAT6 plays a critical role in promoting beta cell viability and is depleted in islets of individuals with type 1 diabetes. Diabetologia, 62(1), 87-98. Abstract.  Author URL.
Holm LJ, Krogvold L, Hasselby JP, Kaur S, Claessens LA, Russell MA, Mathews CE, Hanssen KF, Morgan NG, Koeleman BPC, et al (2018). Abnormal islet sphingolipid metabolism in type 1 diabetes. Diabetologia, 61(7), 1650-1661. Abstract.  Author URL.
Salter CG, Beijer D, Hardy H, Barwick KES, Bower M, Mademan I, De Jonghe P, Deconinck T, Russell MA, McEntagart MM, et al (2018). Truncating SLC5A7 mutations underlie a spectrum of dominant hereditary motor neuropathies. Neurol Genet, 4(2). Abstract.  Author URL.
Saarimäki-Vire J, Balboa D, Russell MA, Saarikettu J, Kinnunen M, Keskitalo S, Malhi A, Valensisi C, Andrus C, Eurola S, et al (2017). An Activating STAT3 Mutation Causes Neonatal Diabetes through Premature Induction of Pancreatic Differentiation. Cell Rep, 19(2), 281-294. Abstract.  Author URL.
Wang H, Salter CG, Refai O, Hardy H, Barwick KES, Akpulat U, Kvarnung M, Chioza BA, Harlalka G, Taylan F, et al (2017). Choline transporter mutations in severe congenital myasthenic syndrome disrupt transporter localization. Brain, 140(11), 2838-2850. Abstract.  Author URL.
Ifie E, Russell MA, Sebastiani G, Dotta F, Marjomaki V, Morgan NG, Richardson SJ (2017). Selective expresssion of one specific isoform of the coxsackie adenovirus receptor (CAR) in the human pancreatic beta cells. Endocrine Abstracts
Hodik M, Anagandula M, Fuxe J, Krogvold L, Dahl-Jørgensen K, Hyöty H, Sarmiento L, Frisk G, Atkinson M, Pugliese A, et al (2016). Coxsackie-adenovirus receptor expression is enhanced in pancreas from patients with type 1 diabetes. BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care, 4(1). Abstract.
Richardson SJ, Rodriguez-Calvo T, Gerling IC, Mathews CE, Kaddis JS, Russell MA, Zeissler M, Leete P, Krogvold L, Dahl-Jørgensen K, et al (2016). Islet cell hyperexpression of HLA class I antigens: a defining feature in type 1 diabetes. Diabetologia, 59(11), 2448-2458. Abstract.  Author URL.
Taniguchi K, Russell MA, Richardson SJ, Morgan NG (2015). The subcellular distribution of cyclin-D1 and cyclin-D3 within human islet cells varies according to the status of the pancreas donor. Diabetologia, 58(9), 2056-2063. Abstract.
Richardson SJ, Leete P, Dhayal S, Russell MA, Oikarinen M, Laiho JE, Svedin E, Lind K, Rosenling T, Chapman N, et al (2014). Evaluation of the fidelity of immunolabelling obtained with clone 5D8/1, a monoclonal antibody directed against the enteroviral capsid protein, VP1, in human pancreas. Diabetologia, 57(2), 392-401. Abstract.  Author URL.
Russell MA, Morgan NG (2014). The impact of anti-inflammatory cytokines on the pancreatic β-cell. Islets, 6(3). Abstract.  Author URL.
Russell MA, Cooper AC, Dhayal S, Morgan NG (2013). Differential effects of interleukin-13 and interleukin-6 on Jak/STAT signaling and cell viability in pancreatic β-cells. Islets, 5(2), 95-105. Abstract.  Author URL.
Russell MA, Morgan NG (2011). Conditional expression of the FTO gene product in rat INS-1 cells reveals its rapid turnover and a role in the profile of glucose-induced insulin secretion. Clin Sci (Lond), 120(9), 403-413. Abstract.  Author URL.
Nisr RB, Russell MA, Chrachri A, Moody AJ, Gilpin ML (2011). Effects of the microbial secondary metabolites pyrrolnitrin, phenazine and patulin on INS-1 rat pancreatic beta-cells. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol, 63, 217-227. Abstract.  Author URL.
Lidder P, Flanagan D, Fleming S, Russell M, Morgan N, Wheatley T, Rahamin J, Shaw S, Lewis S (2010). Combining enteral with parenteral nutrition to improve postoperative glucose control. Br J Nutr, 103(11), 1635-1641. Abstract.  Author URL.
Russell MA, Morgan NG (2010). Expression and functional roles of guanylate cyclase isoforms in BRIN-BD11 β-cells. Islets, 2(6), 374-382. Abstract.  Author URL.
Persaud SJ, Arden C, Bergsten P, Bone AJ, Brown J, Dunmore S, Harrison M, Hauge-Evans A, Kelly C, King A, et al (2010). Pseudoislets as primary islet replacements for research Report on a symposium at King's College London, London UK. ISLETS, 2(4), 236-239.  Author URL.
Morgan NG, Diakogiannaki E, Russell MA (2009). The incubation and monitoring of cell viability in primary rat islets of Langerhans and pancreatic beta-cell lines. Methods Mol Biol, 560, 53-64. Abstract.  Author URL.
Taylor AR, Russell MA, Harper GM, Collins TFT, Brownlee C (2007). Dynamics of formation and secretion of heterococcoliths by Coccolithus pelagicus ssp braarudii. European Journal of Phycology, 42, 125-136. Abstract.


Leslie KA, Richardson SJ, Morgan NG, Russell MA (2022). CD47/SIRP-alpha: a critical axis thatmay contribute to beta cell loss in type 1 diabetes.  Author URL.
Leslie KA, Russell MA, Richardson S, Morgan NG (2022). Reduced Signal Regulatory Protein alpha (SIRPa) expression may contribute to beta cell loss in type 1 diabetes by promoting enhanced STAT1 signalling.  Author URL.
Hopkinson JR, Russell MA, Richardson SJ, Morgan NG (2022). The protein phosphatase inhibitor, PPP1R1A, regulates proliferation in pancreatic beta cells.  Author URL.
Leete P, Russell MA, Ziller C, Richardson SJ, Morgan NG (2020). Defects in proinsulin processing vary during disease progression in type 1 diabetes.  Author URL.

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Involved in the teaching activities of several modules from the Medical Sciences and Medicine degree programmes:

Problem Based Learning group facilitator [Year 1; Medicine]

Provider of Life Science Resouce Centre education sessions [Year 1 & 2; Medicine]

Special study unit group facilitator [Year 1; Medicine]

Translational Medical Sciences group provider [Year 3; Medical Science]

Group provider on Fundamental Skills for Medical Scientists module [Year 1; Medical Sciences]

Group facilitator on Medical Genetics module [Year 2; Medical Sciences]

Marker on Disease, Diagnostics & Therapeutics module [Year 2; Medical Sciences]

Research relevant

Provider of Final Year Projects and Professional Training Year oppertunities. 

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