The work of a leading professor has made it onto a power list of researchers, scientists and campaigners who are saving and greatly improving lives across the nation.
Professor Andrew Hattersley from the University of Exeter Medical School has been recognised for his pioneering research into monogenic diabetes.
He features on the Nation’s Lifesavers list as part of the MadeAtUni campaign which is celebrating the work universities across the country do in a bid to boost the health and well-being of people.
Professor Hattersley said: “It’s an honour to be included in the list for Universities UK’s National Lifesavers campaign. This award is testament to the whole Exeter diabetes research team whose work over the past 25 years has improved diabetes diagnosis and care. We’re proud our work has helped so many people with diabetes but we will keep working hard until all patients have the right diagnosis and optimal treatment.”
In 1995, Professor Hattersley co-founded the Exeter genetics laboratory at The Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital. It is now an international laboratory specialising in genetic subtypes of diabetes.
The centre’s innovative work analysing genetic codes has helped the team to discover 17 new genetic subtypes of the condition, which has revolutionised diagnosis and treatment for some people.
Some of the most prominent changes that Professor Hattersley has overseen includes identifying babies who are able to be treated with tablets rather than needing multiple insulin injections each day.
His team also developed a new test to measure C-peptide with greater accuracy. C-peptide tests are used to measure how much insulin the pancreas is producing. The test can help to assess whether people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have been diagnosed correctly or not. In some cases, the test has helped Professor Hattersley’s team to identify people with type 2 diabetes or monogenic diabetes that had been initially diagnosed with type 1.
Professor Sir Steve Smith, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Exeter, said: “Huge congratulations to Professor Hattersley on being selected as a National Lifesaver by Universities UK.
“We’re incredibly proud that his research into diabetes diagnosis, care and prevention has shown real benefits to the health of patients worldwide. Professor Hattersley is highly deserving of this award.”