Glands of the endocrine system produce hormones that regulate the body’s growth, metabolism, and sexual development and function. The Endocrinology Theme is a forum for those interested in how the endocrinology system affects the body’s growth and function in health and disease. Such studies are important to try and understand many conditions such as thyroid disease, diabetes, menopause, cholesterol disorders, infertility, certain cancers, and obesity.

Specialities in this Theme

CRACCardiovascular, respiratory & autonomic
CSCellular signalling
CPComparative physiology
GITGastrointestinal tract
MEPMicrovascular & endothelial physiology
PPPlacental & perinatal physiology
RPRenal physiology
SMSmooth muscle

Theme Leads

Paul Le Tissier, Senior Lecturer, University of Edinburgh

I received my PhD from Reading University in 1990 and worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Sydney and the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in London. I spent a year as a Senior Scientist at the University of Manchester before taking on my current role as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, where I’ve worked since 2014.

My principal research interest looks at how the different cell populations of the anterior pituitary gland function to maintain and alter their output throughout life and how their dysregulation leads to pathology. The anterior pituitary gland is an important regulator of many physiological processes, controlling growth, reproduction, lactation, metabolism and stress. In different physiological states (puberty, pregnancy, lactation, etc) both the amount and pattern of hormone output change and a combination of these determines how target organ function is modified in response to hormone stimulation. I use an integrated approach, from the level of individual cells and their organisation to their secretory activity and its effect on whole animal physiology. Currently my research focuses on three main areas: (1) plasticity and organisation; (2) monitoring secretion; and (3) pathology.


Tim Wells, Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University

I’m a metabolic neuroendocrinologist in the School of Biosciences at Cardiff University.  I work at the interface between nutrition, hormones, neuroscience, physiology and connective tissue biology.

I studied physiology at Leeds University, acquiring an interest in both neuroscience and hormones. This paved the way for my PhD in the Department of Physiology at University College London where I studied the osmotic regulation of vasopressin secretion. After a couple of short post-doctoral positions at St Thomas’ Hospital and Manchester University, I leapt across the divide into the anterior pituitary, working in the laboratory of Prof Iain Robinson at the National Institute for Medical research on generating and analysing new rodent models of altered growth hormone activity.

Since joining Cardiff University, I’ve focused on generating novel rat models of altered neuroendocrine function, and on the activity of the gastric hormone, ghrelin. Given that the biological activity of ghrelin is determined by the pattern in which the body is exposed to it, I recently started using an automated feeding station to determine the complex physiological consequences of manipulating the pattern of feeding – asking the question whether grazing is better than “three meals a day”?

I’ve authored more than 50 publications in the primary scientific literature, and my most cited publication is the first demonstration of an action of unacylated ghrelin in vivo (cited more than 450 times).

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