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My connections

Research Summary

Collaborations

Professor Frances Ashcroft (DPAG)

Professor Patrik Rorsman (OCDEM)

Dr Anne Clark (OCDEM)

Dr Peter Proks (DPAG)

Dr Quan Zhang (OCDEM)

Melissa Brereton


Wellcome Trust Oxion Training Fellow

Short Description

Biography

I graduated from The University of Manchester in 2008 with a BSc(Hons) in Pharmacology and Physiology. I continued my doctoral studies here investigating the expression and function of potassium channels in human vascular smooth muscle cells within the Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre. I was awarded my PhD in 2012 and began by postdoctoral research as a Wellcome Trust OXION training fellow with Professors Frances Ashcroft and Patrik Rorsman. 

Biography

Research Summary

My current research focuses on understanding what happens to the endocrine organ of the pancreas during diabetes. Using a genetically modified diabetic mouse model which expresses a gain-of-function mutation in the ATP-sensitive K+ channel (KATP), I am investigating the effect of long term hyperglycaemia on beta and alpha cell structure and function. These cells are responsible for releasing the hormones insulin and glucagon, which ensure blood glucose remains within normal limits. Although secretion of these hormones is altered in diabetes, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. I am also interested in understanding how anti-diabetic drugs can prevent and reverse the deleterious effects of hyperglycaemia on islet function. To begin to answer these questions, I use a multitude of experimental approaches including in vivo physiology and phenotyping, electrophysiology, histology, qPCR, electron microscopy and functional hormone secretion studies.

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Recent Publications

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