Dr Craig Beall
RD Lawrence Research Fellow
Endocrinology and Metabolism
Institute of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Skills Development Fellowship Vision
For me, the ideal SDF would be interested in metabolism, particularly in brain regulation of whole body physiology and be keen to learn in vivo skills including surgical models, catheterisation to control blood glucose whilst also using pharmacology to modulate activity of neural cells. Hormone and other blood markers would then be measured in addition to tissue analysis (imaging, Western blotting, gene expression). The ideal candidate would then to able to use their quantitative skills to interpret these findings (i.e regulation of stress hormones during hypoglycaemia) and develop models to make predictions about the influence of prior hypoglycaemia, drug exposure or exercise on stress hormone responses to subsequent hypoglycaemia. This would attempt to develop predictive models to risk for subsequent hypoglycaemia or to predict the response to potential anti-hypoglycaemia drug therapies. Conversely, a clinical SDF would have opportunity to ask questions not possible within the clinical environment but that could be interrogated using a combination of basic sciences methods in combination with quantitative methods. Together, these methods aim to increase our understanding of glucose regulation in diabetes and inform future targeted clinical studies to rapidly translate bench side research to the bedside.
BSc(Hons) Pharmacology; PhD Pharmacology and Neuroscience
Cell and tissue culture; primary culture; calcium imaging; in vivo physiology; electrophysiology, real-time metabolism (Seahorse technology); designer-receptors activated by designer drugs (DREADD technology).
- Vlachaki Walker., J.M., Robb., J.L., Cruz., A.M., Malhi., A., Weightman Potter., P.G., Ashford., M.L.J., McCrimmon., R.J., Ellacott., K.L., Beall., C. AMP-activated protein kinase activator A-769662 increases intracellular calcium and ATP release from astrocytes in an AMPK independent manner. Diabetes Obesity and Metabolism. (2017)19(7):995-1005.
- Haythorne, E., D. L. Hamilton, J. A. Findlay, C. Beall, R. J. McCrimmon and M. L. Ashford. Chronic exposure to KATP channel openers results in attenuated glucose sensing in hypothalamic GT1-7 neurons. Neuropharmacology (2016) 111: 212-222.
- Yavari, A., Stocker, C.J., Ghaffari S., T. Wargent, E.T., Steeples, V., Czibik, G., Pinter C.G., Bellahcene, M., Woods, A., Martínez de Morentin, P.B., Cansell, C., Lam, B.Y.H., Chuster, A., Petkevicius, K., 7 Nguyen-Tu, M., Martinez-Sanchez, A., Pullenm T.J., Oliver, P.L., Stockenhuber, A., Chinh Nguyen, C.,Lazdam, M., O’Dowd, J.F., Harikumar, P., Tóth, M., Beall, C., Kyriakou, T., Parnis, J., Sarma, D., Wortmann, D.D.J., Harper, A.R., A. Brown, L.A., Willows, R., Gandra, S., Poncio, V., de Oliveira Figueiredo, M.J., Qi, N.R., Peirson, S.N., McCrimmon, R.J., Gereben, B., Tretter, L., Fekete, C., Redwood, C., Yeo, G.S.H., Heisler, L.K., Rutter, G.A., Smith, M.A., Withers, D.J.,Carling, D., Sternick, E.B., Arch, J.R.S., Cawthorne, M.A., Watkins, H., Ashrafian, H. Chronic activation of 2 AMPK induces obesity and reduces beta cell function. Cell Metabolism (2016) 23(5):821-36.
Ongoing Projects & Grants
Current projects focus on understanding the detection of low blood sugar (hypoglycaemic) in type 1 diabetes using in vitro human models and in vivo rodent models. Particularly the detection of hypogycaemia by neurons and astrocytes of the hypothalamus and how this can go wrong in type 1 diabetes, where hypoglycaemia awareness is impaired. This seems to be mediated by prior exposure to hypoglycaemia and is regulated by the depth, duration and frequency of prior low glucose. For this we use a combination of real-time metabolism assays of cultured cells, calcium imaging and in vivo rodent physiology.
We are also interested in ATP-sensitive potassium channels (Katp) and how their activity is changed by exposure to Katp channel modulating drugs (used extensively in diabetes). We are investigating potential new therapies for rare genetic diseases were Katp channel activity is hyperactive.
Finally, we are investigating the role of glial cells in regulating whole body energy metabolism, particularly food intake and body weight regulation and the role of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). This enzyme is an important cellular and whole body energy sensor involved in regulation of food intake and glucose counterregulation and drugs targeting this pathway have the potential to treat human metabolic disease.
- Dr Kate Ellacott, University of Exeter
- Prof Andy Randall, University of Exeter
- Dr Emma Dempster, University of Exeter
- Dr Benjamin Wall, University of Exeter
- Rigel Pharmaceuticals (CA, USA)
- Prof Rory McCrimmon, University of Dundee
- Dr Graham Rena, University of Dundee
- Prof Anthony Pickering, University of Bristol
- Dr Ritchie Williamson, University of Bradford.
Research Group Connections