This research programme aims to understand how hormones from the gut influence appetite and blood glucose control.
After a meal, the gut produces hormones signalling to the brain to stop eating, and to the pancreas that it is time to release more insulin. One of these gut hormones has recently been developed as a new treatment for diabetes, and many people are interested in whether any other gut hormones could also be developed for the treatment of diabetes and obesity.
Our programme of research aims to understand how gut hormones are released after a meal, and whether it would be possible to alter their production as a new form of treatment. We study how individual hormone-producing cells detect nutrients, using techniques that allow us to monitor how single cells respond to stimuli in real time. By removing specific genes in mice, we can build up a picture of which genes are most important for how these gut cells work. The findings can then be used as a starting point for devising new ways to alter hormone release in humans.