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Linford Briant

PhD, MSci


Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow & Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College

  • Mathematical modeller

Computational and experimental investigation of islet cells

Linford graduated with an MSc in Mathematics at the University of Bristol in 2009. He spent a year working at the Centre for Public Health (LJMU, Liverpool) and then began a PhD in Engineering Mathematics/Physiology and Pharmacology (with Prof Alan Champneys and Dr Tony Pickering - University of Bristol).

In November 2015 he began a postdoctoral position with Prof Patrik Rorsman and Prof Blanca Rodriguez investigating alpha-cell dysfunction in diabetes. He was awarded Sir Henry Wellcome fellowship in January 2017. During his fellowship he will use both computational and experimental techniques to understand which electrophysiological properties of alpha-cells are important for driving glucagon secretion, and how these may contribute to the impaired glucagon secretion observed in diabetes.

Simulating the electrical activity of cells in human islet

Simulations demonstrate that glucagon secretion is suppressed by delta-cells in high glucose. The left hand image shows electrical activity in beta-cells; these become electrically active in high glucose, activating delta-cells (middle image). These, by releasing somatostatin, inhibit alpha-cells (right hand image). Hence glucagon secretion in human islets is regulated by this pathway. Each cell is represented by a sphere; colour of each cell represents electrical activity, changing in time (time step = 10ms).

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Recent Publications

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Opto-genetic silencing of alpha-cells


Alpha-cells were patch-clamped in islets, where the light-sensitive channel ChR2 was expressed in beta-cells. Opto-activation of beta-cells triggered a suppression of activity in alpha-cells, demonstrating the importance of "paracrine" regulation of alpha-cell activity glucagon secretion.

ORCID

0000-0003-3619-3177