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Diabetes UK-funded researcher elected Fellow of the Royal Society

Andrew Hattersley, Professor of Molecular Medicine and Consultant Physician at the Peninsula Medical School, has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

The Society's foundation is its Fellowship, which is currently composed of over 1,300 of the most distinguished and eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK, Republic of Ireland and other Commonwealth countries. Each year, the Fellows elect 44 new Fellows chosen for their scientific achievements.

Responsible for two major discoveries

Professor Hattersley’s research team in Exeter, established with the help of Diabetes UK funding for the group’s first five grants, has in the last few years alone been part of two major genetic discoveries.

In 2004 they discovered the Kir6.2 gene mutation that causes a type of diabetes in newborn infants which, thanks to this discovery, is now treatable by tablets instead of insulin. More recently Professor Hattersley’s team, in collaboration with researchers in Oxford, has found the first 'obesity' gene. One variation in this gene can be clearly linked to both obesity and Type 2 diabetes. 

'One of the biggest honours to be bestowed'

Professor Hattersley said of the election: “For all scientists, becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society is one of the biggest honours to be bestowed. I would like to acknowledge that Diabetes UK has played a large role in my success, as the organisation has funded my research since 1992. It is fair to say that without Diabetes UK funding there would have been no Exeter Diabetes Genetics research team, never mind my election to the Royal Society. I will always be in debt to Diabetes UK for making our work happen.”

Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK, said: “We are delighted that Andrew has received this prestigious recognition. This Fellowship is affirmation that diabetes research is at the forefront of cutting edge scientific research, which is being undertaken to help improve the lives of people with diabetes. Diabetes UK is very pleased to have been able to support Andrew’s excellent research from the very beginning.”

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