Clinical Research Office. A partnership between Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Sheffield

Academic Directorate of Diabetes & Endocrinology


The Academic Directorate of Diabetes and Endocrinology has built a national and international reputation in clinical studies. This has led to important benefits in the management of these long-term conditions.

The department conducts a range of work from ‘first into man’ studies in the endocrinology work through extensive experimental medicine work, phase 2 and phase 3 studies in collaborations with industrial partners to applied research involving development, refining and evaluation of complex interventions to encourage more effective self management of diabetes. 

The diabetes and endocrinology research teams are based in the Royal Hallamshire and Northern General Hospitals, and with 29 diabetes studies currently authorised (over half of which are CRN adopted), 13 endocrine studies and a further 12 in set-up, our team of researchers are kept very busy! The role of the Diabetes and Endocrinology research team is to design and set up trials, recruit patients onto ongoing research trials and to manage patients throughout the period of the specific research trial.

The Academic Directorate of Diabetes & Endocrinology Research Strategy 2018-2021 is available on request -

Research Topics and Leaders

Diabetes Research:
1. Hypoglycaemia (Prof Simon Heller)
2. Complex educational interventions in diabetes (Prof Simon Heller, Dr Jackie Elliott)
3. CNS Imaging and diabetes (Prof Solomon Tesfaye, Dr Dinesh Selvarajah)
4. Peripheral biomarkers of painful diabetic neuropathy (Prof Solomon Tesfaye, Dr Dinesh Selvarajah)
5. Biomarkers of diabetic autonomic neuropathy (Prof Solomon Tesfaye, Dr Rajiv Gandhi, Dr Dinesh Selvarajah)
6. Type 2 diabetes in younger people and cardiovascular risk (Dr Soon Song)


Endocrine Research:

7. Adrenal (Prof Richard Ross, Prof John Newell-Price)
8. Pituitary (Prof Richard Ross, Prof John Newell-Price)
9. Endocrine disorders as late effects of childhood cancer survivors (Prof Richard Ross)
10. Neuroendocrine tumours (Prof John Newell-Price, Dr Alia Munir)
11. Parathyroid disease (Prof John Newell-Price)

Patient & Public Involvement (PPI) Panel 

The directorate coordinates the 'Lay Advice on Diabetes & Endocrine Research' (LADDER) panel, that brings together patients, carers and people with an interest in diabetes or an endocrine condition. Panel members get together once a month to inform research, offering their unique patient perspective, helping to ensure that research that takes place within the directorate remains Patient Focussed.
Please click here for more information about the Panel.
For researchers that are interested in accessing the panel, please contact Sharon Caunt ( for further information
If you would like to know more about best practice for involving patient in research, please refer to the Diabetes UK guidance document that can be accessed below -
 Diabetes UK - PPI Guidance for Researchers

Key Contacts

Name Role
Prof Solomon Tesfaye
Research Lead - Diabetes
Dr John Newell-Price
Research Lead - Endocrinology
Dr Adrian Scott Clinical Director
Joanne Ferraby Service Manager
Sharon Caunt
Directorate Research Coordinator
Erica Wallis
CRIO Research Coordinator



Professor Solomon Tesfaye

Consultant Physician and Honorary Professor of Diabetic Medicine

He specialises in the management of people with diabetic foot problems and painful diabetic neuropathy, upon which his research also focuses. He is the Research Lead for the Academic Directorate of Diabetes and Endocrinology at STH and Vice Chairman of the Science and research committee of Diabetes UK.

Professor Simon Heller
Professor of Clinical Diabetes and Honorary Consultant Physician
Director of Research & Development, STH


His research interests include the pathophysiology of hypoglycaemia in diabetes, exploring approaches to improving diabetes self-management and clinical trials.

Staff Profile:​​​​​​​

Professor Richard Ross
Professor of Endocrinology and Honorary Consultant Physician
Head of the Unit of Diabetes and Endocrinology, University of Sheffield

The focus of his clinical and basic research is optimising pituitary hormone replacement. The Clinical Research Programme has been investigating different regimens for replacing cortisol, testosterone and oestrogen in hypopituitary, hypogonadal and adrenal insufficient patients.

Staff Profile:​​​​​​​

Dr Jackie Elliott
Senior Clinical Lecturer and Honorary Consultant Physician
Her research interests include complex interventions for patients with diabetes. She is also involved in studies examining the utility of insulin pumps, and continuous glucose monitors.
Professor John Newell-Pice

Chair of Endocrinology and Honorary Consultant Physician

The focus of his clinical and basic research is glucocorticoid excess, Cushing’s syndrome, and neuroendocrine tumours with the aim of improving diagnosis and developing new therapies in these areas.  John chairs the Joint Specialty Committee for Diabetes and Endocrinology of the Royal College of Physicians.

Staff Profile:​​​​​​​

Dr Rajiv Gandhi
Consultant Physician
His research focuses on developing technology to diagnose autonomic neuropathy at an early stage. He is also involved in in projects examining treatment of diabetic foot ulceration which is itself a complication of neuropathy.
Dr Alia Munir

Consultant Endocrinologist 

Her clinical and research interests include neuroendocrine tumours
('carcinoid' and phaeochromocytoma/paraganglioma)


Dr Adrian Scott

Consultant Physician

Clinical Director for the Academic Directorate of Diabetes & Endocrinology

His special interests include diabetes in adolescents and the management of obesity in people with type 2 diabetes.

Dr Dinesh Selvarajah
Senior Lecturer in Diabetes and Honorary Consultant Physician


The focus of his research is Neuroimaging in subjects with Diabetic Neuropathic Pain; he is also involved in work on improving in-patient care. He was the recipient of the Neuro-Diab Young Clinical Investigators Award.

Dr Soon Song

Consultant Physician

Clinical lead for antenatal diabetes, insulin pump, young type 2 diabetes, diabetic renal disease and heart failure services; he is also involved in the formulation of guidelines for lipid and hypertension management in Sheffield. His research interest focuses specifically on cardiovascular risk and complications in young type 2 diabetes.


Research Nurses

Sue Hudson

Sue joined the diabetes team in 1998 as a Diabetes Research and Specialist Nurse, working with Prof. Heller on a large number and variety of complex clinical trials, academic research and hypoglycaemic clamp studies.

Chloe Nisbet

Chloe has been working as a Diabetes Research Nurse in the team for since 2011, following a year-long secondment working with the in-patient diabetes team, promoting the ‘Think Glucose’ campaign, designed to improve the care of in-patients with diabetes.

Helena Renberg-Fawcett, Sue Hudson, Chloe Nisbet
Linda Greaves, Sharon Caunt, Pavel Rusev
Helena Renberg-Fawcett

Helena joined the team in 2014 after working as a staff nurse in medical outpatients. Her previous experience includes working with diabetes in a variety of settings. She developed an interest in diabetes research following completion of a post-graduate certificate in long-term conditions.

Research Administration

Dr Sharon Caunt

Sharon is the Directorate Research Coordinator and assists the team in study set-up, research governance and performance management, and oversees the activities of the Lay ADvise for Diabetes and Endocrine Research (LADDER) panel.

Linda Greaves

Linda is a Diabetes Research Administrator and provides administration and secretarial support to the Diabetes Research Team and to DAFNE Educator Team.

Navone Thompson

Navone is the Directorate Research Administrator and provides comprehensive administrative support to the Directorate’s Research Team.