Dr Hannah Welters
College House G09
College House, University of Exeter, St Luke's Campus, Heavitree Road, Exeter, EX1 2LU, UK
I am Senior Lecturer (Education and Scholarship) in the Medical School and teach on the Medical Science, Medical Imaging and Medicine courses. My subject areas are biochemistry, cell biology and physiology and I teach a wide range of topics in this field. I am passionate about communicating science to undergraduate students. I am experienced in delivering large group lectures, interactive workshops and facilitating small group sessions.
I provide support and training for other staff in roles such as tutoring, module delivery and assessment. I’m also trained as a mentor through the UEMS Mentoring Scheme and I am available to provide peer mentoring for staff.
In addition I am keen to provide support to students throughout their studies. I am the final year lead academic tutor for Medical Science and a progress support tutor for BMBS. Through these roles I engage with and provide support for individual students.
I am currently the academic lead for the Public Involvement in Medical Education group. This group of 10 lay people are involved in a wide range of activities throughout the Medical School. This ranges from helping teach students communication skills to advising on the development of new modules and programmes. The aim of the group is to ensure that the education provided by the Medical School meets the needs and expectations of society.
My PhD and research career focused on the cellular and molecular aspects of beta-cell dysfunction that occurs with diabetes and obesity. I am now studying part time for an MA in ‘Cultures and Environments of Health’ (University of Exeter). This is an interdisciplinary masters which studies how the health of individuals and communities are influenced by social structures, environments, and cultural contexts. Studying for this MA is enhancing my understanding of health and widening my perspectives from my background in biomedical health models. It is also expanding my research skills set to include qualitative research techniques. For example, in my dissertation I am looking at patients views on the new weight loss drug (Wegovy) using social media discussion forums as a data source. Once I have completed my MA I will be looking for ways to put these new skills to good use to help improve health and wellbeing for all.
- 2003 - PhD in Endocrine pharmacology (Exeter University)
- 2000 - BSc in Cellular and Molecular Biology (Bristol University)
Research group links
My current research continues to be focussed on the pancreatic β-cell, looking specifically at how the β-cell is influenced by obesity and diabetes. The rise in diabetes incidence has been causally linked to increasing levels of obesity. However most (~80%) obese individuals do not have type 2 diabetes due to an expansion of the β-cell mass and a corresponding increase in insulin secretion levels. Type 2 diabetes only occurs when the β-cells fail to compensate for the increased insulin resistance. The β-cell function has been shown to start declining before diabetes onset with a correlating decrease in β-cell mass that continues to decline with diabetes duration. Obese patients with diabetes have a reduced β-cell mass compared to obese people without diabetes and this has been suggested to be due to increases in levels of β-cell apoptosis. The cause of the expansion of the β-cell mass with obesity and then the subsequent decline with diabetes on-set are as yet unclear.
My current research sets out to investigate this problem. One of the signalling pathways they are investigating is the Wnt signalling pathway. Recently the Wnt signalling pathway has been identified as being important for stimulating β-cell growth and involved in regulating insulin secretion. Variants in an important component of this pathway, the transcription factor TCF7L2, have been strongly linked to the onset of type 2 diabetes, due to defects in β-cell function. Adipocytes secrete Wnts, which have been shown to inhibit adipocyte differentiation but could also potentially influence β-cells.
Hannah_Welters Details from cache as at 2023-09-30 07:52:55
Final Year Lead Academic tutor
Module lead for Anatomy and Physiology - 1st year Medical Imaging module
Biomedical Science theme lead for BMBS Special Study Units
Main teaching responsibilities:
Delivery of lectures and workshops on the Anatomy and Physiology Module
Yr1 - Small group facilitation for Integrated human physiology
Literature Review Research Group facilitation
Yr 2 - Principles of Medical Research small group facilitation
Final Year - delivering content on the translational medical science module
Biomedical Science SSU provider
Drs as Teachers SSU facilitator
SSU progress support tutor
LSRC session provider