Robert Semple Research Group
Information on the research interests, projects, and members of Rob Semple's Research Group.
Professor Robert Semple
Chair of Translational Molecular Medicine
My overarching interest is in the causes and consequences of abnormal insulin action in human disease. I aim ultimately to gain insights into the nature and mechanisms of "common" insulin resistance, and into potentially modifiable mechanisms linking it to major diseases such as type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, dyslipidaemia, subfertility and cancer. To achieve this, my lab focuses on the genetic, cellular and molecular basis of extreme human disorders of insulin action, whether genetic or antibody-mediated, and ranging from severe insulin resistance to spontaneous non insulin-dependent hypoglycaemia. Many of the conditions we study feature primary abnormalities either the insulin receptor (INSR) or downstream phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K). As well as undertaking mechanistically informative studies of relevance to common disease, I have a major translational interest in improving diagnostic pathways and therapy for patients with these rare disorders. Core approaches include physiological phenotyping of humans with rare genetic syndromes, dissection of insulin action in primary cells from affected patients ex vivo, and identification of causative genetic defects using hypothesis-led and non hypothesis-driven genetic approaches.