Research opportunities

The Endocrine Unit at Imperial is an academic unit, and we have a large research portfolio, undertaking both basic and clinical research on all sites. Imperial tops the ISI/Thompson ratings for diabetes research publications. As an Academic Health Sciences Centre, our clinical work and research are truly integrated.

Investigative Medicine

The Department of Investigative Medicine focuses on intercellular regulatory systems and the way in which they are disturbed in human disease. The Unit has developed international expertise in the measurement synthesis and actions of regulatory peptides and applies this knowledge particularly to the study of hypothalamic, pituitary and islet of Langerhans function. Thus particular attention is paid to reproductive dysfunction, the effects of stress, mechanisms regulating appetite, metabolism and the major disease there of, Diabetes mellitus.

The Unit has been highly successful over the last year with a number of original observations throwing new light on the way the systems function. Grant funding has increased and the groups plan to focus activities on the 6th floor laboratories of the Commonwealth Building has been successfully completed. The exciting new basic science developments consequent, on the fusion of several medical schools to form the Faculty of Medicine of Imperial College London, offer exciting opportunities for future advance.

The department has extensive research facilities, including a full range of cell and molecular biology laboratories, and the laboratory is internationally renowned for its work on gut hormones, carbohydrate metabolism, hypothalamic control mechanisms and regulation of cell growth.

The department has two main sections. One provides the routine clinical chemistry for the Hammersmith Hospitals Trust and the other concentrates on research and teaching. The department works closely with the Endocrinology Unit within the Department of Medicine, sharing a director and several other posts. This offers the opportunity for staff and students to help to provide a clinical service and, if appropriate, be taught clinical skills at the bedside. The Department contributes to both undergraduate and postgraduate medical education within the Faculty of Medicine of Imperial College London.

The Department has considerable research strengths. It currently has 13 clinical research fellows (of which 12 are registered for PhDs) and 9 PhD studentships. It has a high publication rate in prestigious international journals and these articles are very highly cited (in the 1980-89 period the laboratory was the most highly cited in Europe). The laboratory is internationally known for its work on gut hormones, carbohydrate metabolism, hypothalamic control mechanisms and regulation of cell growth.

The focus for research is on intercellular regulatory systems and the way in which they are disturbed in human disease. The Unit has developed international expertise in the measurement, synthesis and actions of regulatory peptides and applies this knowledge particularly to the study of hypothalamic, pituitary and islet of Langerhans function. Particular attention is paid to reproductive dysfunction, the effects of stress, mechanisms regulating appetite, metabolism and the major disease there of, Diabetes mellitus.

The Department is currently divided into several research groupings with the Endocrine group consisting of the largest number of scientists. There are several smaller groups as well.