David J. Hodson
David trained as a Veterinary Surgeon at the University of Bristol before commencing PhD studies on the seasonal regulation of fertility with Dr Domingo Tortonese. Following postdoctoral studies on the hypothalamo-pituitary axis with Dr Patrice Mollard at the Institut de Génomique Fonctionnelle in Montpellier, France, David moved to Imperial College London where he set up a group devoted to diabetes research. In 2016, David joined the Institute of Metabolism and Systems Research at the University of Birmingham where he leads the Islet Biology Group. Most recently, the lab has moved to the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism at the University of Oxford. The major aims of the group are to develop novel tools and imaging approaches to understand how alpha, beta and delta cells, which reside within the islet, release hormone to maintain normal glucose levels during health and disease.
Daniela is a Macedonian enjoying the UK life since 2016. She graduated as a doctor of medicine in Macedonia in 2004 and practiced as a general physician afterwards. She became a MEXT (Japanese Ministry of Education, Sport, Science and Technology) scholar in 2009 and moved to the most beautiful city in the world-Kyoto in Japan. Her research there focused on the incretin GIP and its role in obesity as a PhD project, and becoming Japanese-Macedonian mix in her spare time (no, she’s not a fan of sushi and please stop asking). She earned her PhD in medicine from the Department of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Nutrition at Kyoto University in 2014. Immediately after, she did a short stint in Brussels, Belgium where she worked on premature beta cell death caused by ER stress, but decided that Belgian beers are simply not her thing. She joined David’s group in Birmingham in 2016 and settled down for (or started with) understanding what beta cell heterogeneity is and what can it teach us. She’s a Brummie fan now (don’t believe hear-say, Birmingham is way cooler than you think) and convinced that their islet biology group (#hodsquad) can’t be matched!
Katrina is a Slytherin born and raised in the Philippines. Her family later decided to voyage to the last frontier and moved to Alaska when she was 13 years old. In Alaska she explored her love for science and pursued an undergraduate degree in biology at the University of Alaska Anchorage. It was during this time she landed a summer internship with the NIDDK, and learned about diabetes with her first lab experience. Her quest for knowledge and travel brought her to Kingston University London where she acquired a Masters in Biotechnology. Here she met Dr. Natasha Hill with whom she undertook a summer project studying matricellular proteins. After enjoying research work, fish and chips and afternoon tea, she decided to stay in England and continue her work in Kingston to pursue a PhD investigating SPARC matricellular proteins and their role in diabetes. Katrina’s thirst for adventure lead her to the University of Birmingham where she joined Prof. David Hodson’s #hodsquad as a postdoc to uncover the role of vitamin-D binding protein in diabetes. Currently, Katrina enjoys her time in England, discovering new places to run and hike. Apart from finding the cure to diabetes, next on her bucket list is to run the 6 Abbott World Major Marathons.
Anne de Bray
Born and raised in Northamptonshire, Annie moved to Birmingham to complete her medical degree. She became interested in diabetes and endocrinology during her undergraduate studies and upon graduating in 2012, chose to remain in the West Midlands for postgraduate training and focus upon learning about and teaching diabetes and endocrinology to peers and medical students. She spent a wonderful year as a clinical teaching fellow, gained a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education and entered specialty training in 2017. Following her 3 years as an Academic Clinical Fellow she obtained an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellowship where she will be investigating the role of dual GIPR and GLP1R agonism on beta cell function. When she is not getting confused by calculations or running around on call in the hospital, she enjoys creating hygge by playing board games, petting local cats and eating good food with good friends.
Charlotte is Birmingham born and raised, but moved to Oxford in 2018 to complete an integrated masters degree in Biochemistry. Despite initially adamant that she hated Biochemistry, she fell in love with lipid metabolism and began a research project at OCDEM with a rival Hodson group. This project focused on intrahepatic fatty acid metabolism, providing an in vitro recapitulation of an ongoing human physiological study. Charlotte graduated from the University of Oxford and began as a technician at the University of Westminster, managing their clean room and tissue culture facility. Whilst she missed hands-on research and had heard that an even cooler Hodsquad had moved into OCDEM, it was ultimately the tube at 9AM that drove her to return to Oxford. Aside from following Kat around the lab or having IT crises, her hobbies include pottery, live music and open mic nights at the Harcourt arms.
NOVO NORDISK POSTDOC FELLOW
Ali is a proud Serbestinian, born in Serbia and raised in Ramallah, West Bank Palestine. In 2014, Ali recieved his B.S in biochemistry at Umass Boston in Boston, MA and went on to complete an M.S in Nutrition and Biomedicine at the Technical University of Munich in Munich, Germany under the supervision of Dr. Henrietta Uhlenhaut’s lab at the Institute of Diabetes and Obesity at Helmholtz Zentrum. His thesis studied the role of TR2 and TR4, orphan hormone nuclear receptors, in glucose homeostasis and lipid metabolism. Ali then worked as a research assistant for 9 months at Dr. Holger Russ’s Lab at the Barbara Davis centre, University of Colorado Anschutz Campus, and joined the same lab as a PhD student in 2017. His work at the Russ Lab focused on determining the fate of primary human beta cells and stem cell derived beta-like cells (sBC) upon transplantation. These studies were geared toward improving sBC survival in vivo and promote cell therapy for T1D treatment. Recently, Ali joined the Hodsquad as a Novo Nordisk postdoctoral fellow to further understand GLP1R signaling in beta cells and explore the potential use of GL1R agonists for gene therapy applications for T2D diabetic patients. In his free time he loves to ski (especially in Oxford), rock climb, hike, run, walk his dog (Crni) and travel with his partner and daughter, Zayta.
PHD STUDENT-RESEARCH TECHNICIAN
PHD STUDENT-RESEARCH ASSOCIATE
Hannah R. Smith
A.T. TRUST STUDENT
Maria Jimenez Ramos
VISITING RESEARCH FELLOW