Metabolic disease

Metabolic diseaseObesity has reached epidemic proportions and is associated with widespread health problems. Chronic high-caloric intake and lack of exercise result in the storage of excess energy as lipid in body fat depots.

The increases in body fat then trigger metabolic and inflammatory responses that lead to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and increased risk of cancer. Although changes in lifestyle are a first-line treatment option, most patients require additional therapeutic intervention.

DDB's studies target numerous G protein-coupled receptors and focus on three avenues for therapy of obesity and diabetes:

  • to modulate adipocyte metabolism
  • to activate glucose disposal in skeletal muscle
  • to enhance and preserve the release of insulin from pancreatic islets

Lab head

Lab name

Research areas

Professor Patrick Sexton

Metabolic G protein-coupled receptor group

metabolic and endocrine disorders, neuropsychiatric disease, allosteric modulation, biased agonism, structural biology, chemical biology, integrated pharmacology, receptor trafficking, compartmentalised signaling

Professor Arthur Christopoulos

G protein-coupled receptor allosteric modulation and drug targeting

neuropsychiatric diseases, metabolic and endocrine disorders, cardiovascular disease, allosteric modulation, drug discovery, chemical biology, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, structural biology, biased agonism

Dr Betty Exintaris

Tissue electrophysiology

prostate, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), lower urinary tract symptoms, smooth muscle, spontaneous activity, contractile activity, slow waves, metabolic and endocrine disorders, inflammation

Dr Dana Hutchinson

Metabolic G protein-coupled receptor group

adipocytes, cardiomyocytes, cellular metabolism, GPCRs, skeletal muscle, metabolic and endocrine disorders, glucose uptake, cellular respiration

Dr Chris Langmead

Servier program in drug discovery - molecular and translational drug discovery

neuropsychiatric disease, inflammation, metabolic and endocrine disorders, drug discovery, orphan G protein-coupled receptors, high-throughout screening, hits-to-leads, translational biology, high content imaging, biased agonism

Dr Katie Leach

Class C GPCR biology

calcium sensing receptor, cell signalling, allosteric modulators, receptor structure-function, drug-receptor interactions, analytical/molecular pharmacology, biased agonism/ modulation, metabolic and endocrine disorders

Dr Sab Ventura

Male reproductive pharmacology

male contraception, benign prostatic hyperplasia, prostate cancer, vas deferens, adrenoceptors, purinoceptors

Dr Denise Wootten

Metabolic G protein-coupled receptor group

class B GPCRs, biased agonism, allosteric modulation, structural biology, chemical biology, receptor trafficking, signal transduction, integrated pharmacology, metabolic and endocrine disorders, diabetes