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I studied medicine at Oxford University (1997-2003) first at Lincoln College and then Green College. This provided great training to become a medical doctor, as well as inspiring appreciation of and interest in clinical research. I am  currently a specialist registrar in diabetes, endocrinology and general medicine in Oxford.

In 2009 I joined the translation diabetes genetic research group at the Oxford Centre of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism (OCDEM) as an  NIHR Clinical  Research Fellow. My research projects were supervised by Dr Katharine Owen and Professor Mark McCarthy.  These projects encompassed the differential  diagnosis of diabetes aetiology. I particularly focused on the  accurate identification of rare genetic subtypes of diabetes  (such as maturity onset diabetes of the young or MODY) in everyday clinical practice to enable  more personalised diabetes management for these  patients. In the Young Diabetes in Oxford study, we showed that current genetic testing guidelines will miss  approximately half of patients with underlying MODY, and proposed a simple diagnostic algorithm to guide clinicians who look after diabetes presenting up to the age of 45 years. We also identified that patients with  HNF1A-MODY have very low levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) compared with other diabetes subtypes, and this  is the most promising  non-genetic biomarker for  MODY identified to date.  CRP (which is already widely-available as an inflammatory marker) will be incorporated into the revised guidelines for  MODY genetic testing which should help widespread translation of this finding.

I enjoyed this period of time in research immensely for many reasons.  It  was  intellectually stimulating, and  re-emphasised the  importance of  basic and clinical research to  underpin good medical practice.