Disorders in Endocrinology

 

The division has interests and expertise across several facets of endocrinology.

The neuroendocrine group studies the hormonal and nutritional regulation of mammalian glucose and fat homeostasis. This includes delineating signalling connections between the brain, the liver, the adipose tissue, the pancreas and the muscle that go wrong in the development of many age-related diseases. Sutherland, McCrimmon, Kang and Ashford have multiple linked research programmes investigating how overnutrition and obesity modify the whole body control of glucose and energy homeostasis leading ultimately to development of Type 2 diabetes. They focus on characterizing key molecular and endocrine pathways that underlie the development of insulin resistance and associated diseases (including dementia, diabetes and polycystic ovarian syndrome), with the ultimate aims of identifying early diagnostic markers and effective clinical interventions based on disease mechanism. In addition the group studies how disordered energy metabolism modifies neuronal function, from satiety controls in the hypothalamus to cognitive functions, both in animal models and through interactions with clinical colleagues in psychiatry study the effect of diet on human behaviour.

Barratt leads a reproductive endocrinology research group where research is primarily focussed on understanding the function of the human gamete (sperm and egg) and identifying the key factors in the normal process of the union of the gametes (in vivo and in vitro) and the subsequent development of human embryos.

At the clinical end of the spectrum, there is a focus on thyroid disease (Leese), Adrenal disease (Connell) and Pituitary disease (Newey).  Leese leads a group looking at the epidemiology of endocrine diseases.  Through the TEARS study they have examined the outcomes of patients treated with thyroxine, patients with sub clinical hyperthyroidism and drug interactions with thyroxine.  Through the PEARS study they have defined the epidemiology of primary hyperparathyroidism, the outcomes of so-called mild disease, and disease predictors.  Newey has an interest in the genetics of pituitary adenomas, especially prolactinomas.