Home News Prestigious award for Exeter genomic medicine expert

Prestigious award for Exeter genomic medicine expert


A leading researcher in Genetic Diabetes Research has been awarded a prestigious medal for their contributions. The Royal Society Wolfson Research Medal was awarded to Professor Sian Ellard of the University of Exeter Medical School.

The Award, jointly funded by the Wolfson Foundation and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, aims to provide universities with additional support, in order to enable them to attract scientific talent from overseas, whilst retaining respected UK scientists of outstanding merit.

Professor Ellard co-leads Exeter’s world-leading Genetic Diabetes team, alongside Professor Andrew Hattersly. Amongst their many achievements, they have discovered that around half of patients with neonatal diseases (wherein they are diagnosed before they are six months old) can be spared a lifetime of insulin injections through taking tablets which result in more effective glucose control.

The research uses state-of-the-art genomic technology to find the genetic changes that cause diabetes, and, a decade on, the team’s work has resulted in a change in international guidelines, which has lead to genetic testing becoming the norm for diabetic babies.

Professor Ellard, who is based at the Research, Innovation, Learning and Development building on Barrack Road, which is a joint enterprise with the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust, said that she was “delighted to receive this award, which recognises the research excellence in diabetes and genomics we have at Exeter.”

“A key element of our success is the close working relationship between the University and NHS Trust, meaning that our research discoveries are quickly translated into new diagnostic tests.” 

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