Prof Rorsman has made distinguished contributions to our understanding of how the insulin- and glucagon-producing cells of the pancreatic islets regulate the plasma glucose concentration. His pioneering work is a shining example of post-genomic experimental diabetes research that integrates an unusual breadth of sophisticated methods and has clinical implications. It has led to the identification of key processes that become disrupted in type 2 diabetes, and shed light on the causal relationship between obesity and diabetes.
Prof Thakker has made a sustained series of major contributions to endocrinology, particularly parathyroid and renal disorders affecting calcium homeostasis. His research at the basic-science and clinical interface has resulted in seminal gene discoveries and insights into molecular, cellular and physiological mechanisms. These include: identification of functional pathways of calcium-sensing, through characterisation of mutations of the calcium-sensing-receptor, a G-protein-coupled- receptor (GPCR), and its signalling pathway through G-protein-alpha-11-subunit (Gα11) and adaptor-protein-2-sigma-subunit (AP2σ), which regulates GPCR endocytosis; and defining a molecular-based taxonomy of syndromic and non-syndromic hyperparathyroid and hypoparathyroid disorders that has resulted in new pathophysiological insights and advances in diagnosis and treatment.
"This is a huge achievement for Profs Rorsman and Thakker, and a well-deserved recognition of their pioneering work" said Prof Hugh Watkins, Head of RDM.