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Soren Thomsen


DPhil Student

I am a DPhil student at the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism, working under the supervision of Professors Anna Gloyn and Mark McCarthy. My research centres on exploring the genetic susceptibility to type 2 diabetes, using a combination of clinical, genomic, and cellular approaches.  

To date, more than 100 genetic association signals for type 2 diabetes risk have been uncovered, but progress towards understanding the underlying molecular mechanisms remains slow. This experimental bottle-neck has limited both translational opportunities and insights into the pathophysiological mechanisms that lead to disease. By using a range of different experimental approaches, my work has contributed to advancing our understanding of the genetic mechanisms that drive beta-cell dysfunction, insulin insufficiency, and ultimately diabetes. 

Recently, a major focus of my work has been on applying high-throughput screening and single-cell resolution techniques to study genes at disease-associated regions, thereby assessing the potential role of regional transcripts in insulin secretion and beta-cell identity. In this way, information about the role of each gene in a disease-relevant tissue can be integrated with existing genetic and genomic information to prioritize causal genes at type 2 diabetes loci.  

I am currently working on extending this approach to apply pooled CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing in combination with transcriptomic phenotyping. This could provide information about the molecular pathways underpinning type 2 diabetes, and ultimately inform new therapeutic options.

Recent publications

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