Diabetes Research Group

The Diabetes Research Group (DRG) is a multi-disciplinary group that was established in January 2003. The key strength of the DRG is that it is cross-Faculty, with investigators from the Institute of Cellular Medicine, Institute of Health and Society and the Institute of Cellular and Molecular Biosciences.

Theme Leader

Professor Mark Walker

Major Research Themes

  1. Study of pancreatic b-cell function, generation and transplantation
  2. Investigation of glucose homeostasis using cell based systems and in vivo metabolic profiling
  3. Pathogenesis and management of diabetes and its complications


  • Pancreatic islet cell isolation, quality assessment
  • Cell based systems including liver, muscle and pancreatic beta-cells
  • In vivo assessment of beta-cell function, insulin sensitivity
  • In vivo assessment of hypoglycaemic response
  • Muscle liver and pancreas imaging and functional assessment by MR
  • Access to well characterised type 2 diabetes cohorts for genetic and epigenetic studies
  • Physical activity assessment and programme design /delivery
  • Ex vivo assessment of thrombolytic system
  • Quantitative light and electron microscopy

Key Collaborations

  • Part of the Newcastle Ageing BRC
  • Collaborations across ICM, IHG & IHS, and with the Liver, Mitochondrial, Nutrition Research Groups
  • Collaborations with the Newcastle CRF and MR Centre
  • Collaborations with the NIHR North East &Cumbria Diabetes LRN
  • National Collaborations: UK Islet Transplant programme, Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium
  • International: part of two EU FP7 consortia

Developing Researchers

  • Part of the Wellcome Trust Training Programme in Experimental Medicine
  • Established MRes in Diabetes
  • Support for non-clinical and clinical scientists as part of the NIHR BRC training programme
  • Training is delivered and supported through monthly meetings of the Diabetes Research Group and other Faculty initiatives

Impact and Engagement

  • Mark Walker is Chair of the Scientific Programme Committee for the European Association of Diabetes annual international conference
  • SMM – member, Council of Health Care Professionals, Diabetes UK
  • SMM – associate editor, Diabetologia

Related Websites

Staff List


Professor Loranne Agius
Professor of Metabolic Biochemistry

Dr Catherine Arden
Newcastle University Research Fellow

Dr Leah Avery
Senior Research Associate & Health Psychologist

Professor Rudy Bilous
Professor of Clinical Medicine

  • Telephone: +44 (0)1642 854145

Dr Audrey Brown
Research Associate

Dr Timothy Cheetham
Consultant/Senior Lecturer

Dr Hannah Elliott
Guest Status

  • Telephone: 0191 241 8636

Professor Philip Home
Professor of Diabetes Medicine

Dr Nicola Leech
Consultant/Lecturer in Diabetic Medicine

Dr Helen Marshall
Research Associate

Professor Sally Marshall
Professor of Diabetes

Dr Linda Penn
Research Associate

Professor Caroline Relton

Professor James Shaw
Professor of Regenerative Medicine for Diabetes and Honorary Consultant Physician

Professor Roy Taylor
Director of Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre

Professor Michael Trenell
NIHR Senior Research Fellow & Director, MoveLab; Physical Activity & Exercise Research

Professor Mark Walker
Professor of Molecular Diabetic Medicine

Dr Jolanta Weaver
Senior Lecturer