Diabetic Complications Group

Lab head: Professor Stephen Twigg
Location: Blackburn Building

This group is headed by  Stephen Twigg and Susan McLennan.

The research conducted by this group addresses a number of key complications associated with diabetes including: diabetic wound healing, neuropathy, cardiomyopathy, and diabetic nephropathy, as well as insulin resistance.

A/Profesoor McLennan also has an established interest in thyroid cancer 


Lab members: S Twigg (head), S McLennan (Principal Research Fellow), D. Min (Senior Research Fellow), X Wang ( Post doctoral fellow), C Tam (Post doctoral fellow)

The role of macrophage status in development of diabetic complications.

Primary supervisor: Susan McLennan

Diabetic complications affect almost all persons with diabetes and are known to be associated with an increase in inflammation and the tissue accumulation of macrophages. There is considerable evidence to show that macrophage accumulation in tissue is a pathogenic feature of complications, however few studies have investigated the effects of diabetes on monocytes the precursor cell to macrophages.  Our studies in diabetic subjects have provided novel data that diabetes can affect monocyte phenotype and moreover this change is related to the presence of diabetic complications. We have access to samples from persons with diabetes and who either have or don’t have diabetic complications as well as rodent models of diabetes. Samples from these sources will be used to examine the relationship between development of diabetic complications and circulating monocyte phenotype. In the mouse models, macrophage phenotype in diabetes prone tissues such as the kidney, liver and vessels will also be examined. The cells in the circulation will be studied by flow cytometry and the effect on function examined by measurement of aggregation, migration and response to stimulation. The tissue cells can also be retrieved using flow cytometry or laser capture microscopy and their gene expression of markers of macrophage phenotype will be examined by qRT-PCR.

Discipline: Pathology
Co-supervisors: Danqing Min
Keywords: Diabetes, Inflammation, Fibrosis