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University of Exeter Medical School

Dr Alice Hughes

Dr Alice Hughes

GW4 Clinical Academic Training PhD Fellow

 RILD Building Level 3


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


Alice is a clinician and researcher. She completed a Wellcome Trust funded GW4-Clinical Academic Training PhD fellowship in 2022. The aim of her PhD was to investigate the role of fetal insulin in intrauterine and early postnatal growth using genetics. She is currently training in medicine and building upon her PhD studies as a postdoctoral researcher attached to the Exeter Diabetes team.


  • BSc (Hons) Medical Sciences with Reproductive and Developmental Sciences, Imperial College London, 2014. Awarded with First Class Honours.
  • BMBS, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, 2015. Awarded with Distinction.
  • MSc Genomic Medicine, University of Exeter, 2018. Awarded with Distinction.
  • PhD Medical Sciences, University of Exeter, 2022. Title: "Using genetics to investigate the importance of fetal insulin in birth weight and early growth".
  • Membership of the Royal College of Physicians (MRCP), 2023.

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Research interests

Alice’s work focuses on fetal growth and the role of insulin, using monogenic and polygenic data to find out how and why babies are born very small or very large. She is also interested in prediction of adverse pregnancy outcomes, particularly in relation to diabetes in pregnancy.

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External Engagement and Impact


  • Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland Prize, 2013.
  • Peninsula Student Clinical Academics' Award winner, 2015.
  • Nominated for the Diabetes UK Nick Hales Young Investigator Award, 2017.
  • First prize abstract winner, Diabetes UK Diabetes in Pregnancy Conference, 2021.
  • Young Diabetologists and Endocrinologists Forum Travel Award winner, 2022.

Competitively funded studentships and postdoctoral fellowships

  • Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland Intercalation Studentship, 2013-14.
  • EASD Diabetes in Pregnancy Study Group Young Investigator Travel Fellowship, 2019.
  • Wellcome Trust Funded GW4 Clinical Academic Training PhD Fellowship, 2019-2022.

External positions

  • American Diabetes Association Precision Medicine in Diabetes initiative, Gestational Diabetes Precision Prognostics group member

Invited lectures & workshops

  • Diabetes UK Annual Professional Conference 2023 - invited talk titled "How much does fetal insulin-mediated growth contribute to birth weight?"
  • American Diabetes Association Annual Scientific Sessions 2023 - invited talk titled "Maternal glucose and fetal-insulin mediated growth: what have we learned from genetics?"

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BMBS Healthcare in Practice SSU theme lead, Exeter Locality 2020-22.

Awarded “Above and Beyond” award for contribution to BMBS teaching programme 2022.

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