Member Listing

Name

Fiona Gribble

Affiliation

Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Metabolic Research Laboratories

Title

Professor

Role

Principal Investigator

Research Summary

Hormones from the gut are central to the control of appetite and insulin release. Drugs based on the gut hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) have proved highly successful for treating type 2 diabetes, and also suppress food intake. In collaboration with Frank Reimann our group researches how gut hormones are released and their actions on target tissues. We hope this will lead to the development of new drugs or diets that treat diabetes and obesity by targeting gut hormone release.

Current projects

1) Secretion and action of gut hormones
Optical and electrophysiological recording techniques are used to monitor stimulus detection and vesicle release from primary and immortalized GLP-1-secreting cells. To identify living gut endocrine cells, we employ transgenic models in which hormone producing cells, or cellular targets of gut hormones, are labelled by cell-specific fluorescent markers and reporters of cytoplasmic signalling pathways. The mechanisms by which cells detect stimuli are identified by combining methods such as single cell recordings, transcriptomics and assays of hormone secretion.

2) Gut hormone release in humans
The release of gut hormones after a meal conveys signals to the brain to stop eating, to the pancreas to produce insulin and to the gut to coordinate digestion. To harness the body’s own gut hormones as a new treatment for diabetes and obesity, we are interested in establishing how gut hormones are released in man, and what is the impact on human health.

Our ongoing research projects include:
A – Investigating whether swallowing capsules containing nutrients can be used to increase gut hormone release and lower blood glucose in healthy and type 2 diabetic human volunteers
B – Determining the variability in gut hormone profiles in healthy volunteers and people with gastrointestinal complaints, and their impacts on health

If you might be interested in participating in future research studies on gut hormones, please send your contact details to guthormones@medschl.cam.ac.uk.

Our work is funded by the Wellcome Trust, EU FP7 Full4health, the European Foundation for the Study of Diabetes and the Medical Research Council

Expertise

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Endocrinology, Medical Devices and Therapeutics, Translational Medicine

Selected Publications

Full list of publications: http://www.mrl.ims.cam.ac.uk/staff/FionaGribble.htm