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Biography

Shanta Persaud is Professor of Diabetes & Endocrinology and Head of the Department of Diabetes in the School of Life Course Sciences.

She has a first class BSc in Physiology & Pharmacology and a PhD on the regulation of insulin secretion from islets of Langerhans. She is Deputy Head of the Department of Physiology and is also the Physiology Exam Board Chair. She lectures on diabetes and endocrinology to BSc students and runs training workshops to MSc and PhD students. Her main research interests lie in defining how islet beta-cells recognise external stimuli and transduce that recognition into appropriate regulation of insulin secretion and beta-cell mass, with a particular focus on identifying novel islet G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) for diabetes therapy, and the role of phytotherapies in improving mouse and human islet function. Her research is directed towards defining ligand interactions with islet GPCRs and signal transduction pathways involved in the regulated secretion of islet hormones, and mechanisms through which beta-cell mass is regulated. Techniques used by members of her group include isolation of islets from experimental animals; cell culture; measurement of apoptosis by caspase assays; measurement of ATP and NAD(P)H generation; detection of islet cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo by BrdU incorporation into DNA; transient and stable transfection of cells for gene overexpression; CRISPR-mediated gene knockdown; isolation and analysis of RNA and DNA; quantitative and single cell RT-PCR; calcium microfluorimetry; dynamic hormone secretion in perifusion; measurement of hormone and cyclic nucleotide levels by immunoassay; Investigation of cell-cell interactions and signalling events in cell populations by time-lapse live cell imaging; immunocyto/histochemistry; Western blotting of PAGE-fractionated proteins; measurement of serine/threonine and tyrosine kinase activities in situ and in vitro; intra-peritoneal glucose and insulin tolerance tests; beta-cell-targeted gene deletion in vivo.