Professor Sian Ellard - research into neonatal diabetes and hyperinsulinism


Professor Andrew Hattersley - From base change to better care in diabetes


Professor Lorna Harries - regulation and expression of genes in ageing and diabetes


Dr Rachel Freathy - how a baby’s genes influence birth weight and later life

Genomic Medicine

Diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental risk factors, or in rarer cases, can be directly inherited due to single gene mutations in the DNA. Researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School studying the polygenic, monogenic, mitochondrial and epigenetic causes of diabetes inheritance have made ground-breaking discoveries that have transformed scientific understanding and clinical care for over 20 years.   

Through genomics research, the Exeter diabetes teams seek to understand the causes and consequences of diabetes, identify those most at risk and create interventions designed to mitigate those risks, predict, detect and prevent.  

The Medical School is a partner in the South West NHS Genomic Medicine Centre and is contributing to the 100,000 Genomes Project. Our MSc in Genomic Medicine is upskilling a new generation of health professionals to be at the forefront of knowledge and technology.  


Diabetes Genes

Complex Disease Epigenetics Group 

Type 2 Diabetes, Obesity, growth & reproductive ageing genetics

Genomic Medicine - primary investigators

Name RoleKeywords
Professor Andrew Hattersley Gillings Chair of Precision Medicine, Professor of Molecular Medicine & Consultant Physician MODY, Neonatal diabetes, islet antibodies, gestational diabetes, genetic risk score, Bioinformatics, BMI Diagnosis
Professor Andrew Crosby Professor of Human Genetics Genetics, Neurological diseases, Pathogenic mechanisms, Cardiovascular disease, Mutations, therapeutic approaches, inherited diseases, communities
Professor Sian Ellard Professor of Genomic Medicine Monogenic diabetes, neonatal diabetes, hyperinsulinism, next generation sequencing technology
Dr Sarah Flanagan  Sir Henry Dale Fellow Diabetes Mellitus Genetic Screening Hyperglycaemia Hyperinsulinism Hypoglycaemia Insulin Molecular Genetics Monogenic autoimmune disease Monogenic Diabetes Neonatal Diabetes

Professor Tim Frayling 

Professor of Human Genetics Bioinformatics, BMI, diabetes mellitus, diabetes risk factors, genetic risk score, genetic screening, genomic-wide association studies, hyperglycaemia, hyperinsulinism, impaired glucose tolerance, insulin, insulin resistance, microalbuminuria, molecular genetics, obesity, pancreas, polygenic diabetes, prediabetes, public and patient involvement, risk factors of diabetes, type 2, β cells

Dr Rachel Freathy 

Sir Henry Dale Fellow Birth weight, pregnancy, genome-wide association studies, polygenic diabetes, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes, bioinformatics, genetic risk score, hyperglycaemia 

Associate Professor Lorna Harries 

Associate Professor Molecular Genetics Ageing, Molecular Genetics, Type 2 Diabetes, gene expression, gene regulation


Dr Michael Weedon


Associate Professor Bioinformatics, diabetes mellitus, genetic risk score, genomic-wide association studies, MODY, molecular genetics, monogenic diabetes, obesity, polygenic diabetes, risk factors of diabetes, type 2

Dr Richard Oram

Harry Keen Fellow and Clinical Senior Lecturer β cells, Type 1 diabetes, C-peptide, translational research, autoantibodies, autoimmune disease, Type 1 diabetes, Genetic risk score, T1D GRS, Extremely early onset type 1 diabetes