Dr James Cantley


Systems Medicine, School of Medicine

Portrait photo of James Cantley
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+44 (0)1382 385705


Beta cell biology

Pancreatic beta cells are responsible for secreting adequate amounts of insulin into the blood stream to maintain glucose homeostasis. Beta cells have a remarkable capacity to adapt to metabolic challenges, such as obesity, and to increase their secretory output accordingly. However, failure of beta cells to match secretory output with demand results in hyperglycaemia, type 2 diabetes and associated morbidities. Likewise, autoimmune destruction of beta cells during type 1 diabetes leads to a loss of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion resulting in dysregulated blood glucose. The global population is currently facing an obesity and diabetes epidemic, making research into this area an economic, medical and ethical priority.

The Cantley lab works at the interface of biochemistry, cell/islet biology and whole body metabolic physiology, to investigate the molecular mechanisms controlling pancreatic beta and alpha cell function. Of particular interest are how these mechanisms coordinate the pancreatic endocrine response with whole body metabolic status, how they adapt during obesity, and how they fail during diabetes. We are currently focussed on nutrient sensing (in particular lipid signalling), beta cell regeneration and viral/interferon response pathways.

Publications: https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=-dFOnA8AAAAJ

If you are interested in joining the lab as doctoral student or postdoc please get in contact with Dr. Cantley.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University College London

1 Nov 2003 → 1 Mar 2007

Award Date: 31 Mar 2007

Master in Science, Imperial College London

1 Oct 2001 → 1 Sep 2002

Award Date: 30 Sep 2002

Bachelor of Science, University of Southampton

20 Sep 1998 → 1 Jul 2001

Award Date: 1 Jul 2001

View full research profile and publications

Media availability

I am available for media commentary on my research.

Contact Corporate Communications for media enquiries.

Areas of expertise

  • Diabetes