I am interested in the patterns of gene expression underpinning healthy pancreatic beta cell function. As the body’s sole source of circulating insulin, beta cells are essential for normal regulation of blood glucose, and their failure is the main cause of Type 2 Diabetes.
In recent years it has become apparent that the genome encodes thousands of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNA). lncRNAs are expressed in a highly cell-type specific manner and are capable of regulating gene expression through multiple mechanisms. I am currently investigating how lncRNAs contribute to the healthy beta cell phenotype, and the mechanisms through which they function. I am also interested in whether lncRNAs can be manipulated to reinforce beta cell identity which is challenged during diabetes progression.
My research is funded by a Non-clinical Fellowship from the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation.
Wilson ME, Pullen TJ, 2021, The role of long non-coding RNAs in the regulation of pancreatic beta cell identity., Biochem Soc Trans, Vol:49, Pages:2153-2161
et al., 2021, Replication and cross-validation of type 2 diabetes subtypes based on clinical variables: an IMI-RHAPSODY study, Diabetologia, Vol:64, ISSN:0012-186X, Pages:1982-1989
et al., 2020, Metabolic and functional specialisations of the pancreatic beta cell: gene disallowance, mitochondrial metabolism and intercellular connectivity, Diabetologia, Vol:63, ISSN:0012-186X, Pages:1990-1998
et al., 2018, The Type 2 diabetes genome-wide association study (GWAS) gene STARD10 controls beta cell granule morphogenesis and proinsulin release, Diabetes UK, WILEY, Pages:46-46, ISSN:0742-3071