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Metabolic and endocrine disorders

We fund metabolic and endocrine disorder research projects through our funding programmes, and support training and career development for researchers in the specialty.

We deliver metabolic and endocrine disorders research funded by the NIHR, the life sciences industry and non-commercial organisations such as charities. We support the set up and delivery of this research in the NHS and in public health and social care settings. Our research infrastructure also supports research funded by these partners, offering expertise, collaborations and facilities.

We also provide opportunities for people affected by metabolic and endocrine conditions and their families and carers to influence and take part in research.

Delivery

The NIHR supports patients and the public to participate in high quality research taking place in health and care settings across England, advancing knowledge and improving care.

NIHR Clinical Research Network

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) includes 30 specialty groups, who coordinate and support the delivery of high quality research by therapy area. Some of this research is funded by the NIHR, but most of it is funded by non-commercial organisations, such as charities or universities, and the life sciences industry.

The CRN provides researchers with the practical support they need to make research happen. It supports the set up and delivery of clinical research in the NHS and in other health and care settings through our Study Support Service, with tailored offers of support for:

Supporting metabolic and endocrine disorders research

The Metabolic and Endocrine Disorders Specialty is made up of leading research-interested clinicians and practitioners at both national and local levels. Our researchers and their teams are passionate about providing the best care and research opportunities for people living with endocrine disorders, obesity and inherited metabolic diseases. We work closely with research teams and patients to identify the most urgent research questions, seek funding for research studies and ensure that the metabolic and endocrine disorders studies we support are delivered to time and target.

We oversee research that deals with the investigation, diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of all metabolic and endocrine disorders. This means that we support a wide range of research studies such as:

  • adrenal glands and associated diseases
  • thyroid problems
  • the pituitary gland
  • metabolic bone disease
  • nutrition including obesity
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • reproductive endocrinology
  • rare inherited conditions affecting aspects of metabolism.

We have recruited over 40,000 participants into studies since 2015, and achieved two first global patients in metabolic and endocrine studies in 2017/18.

Who we are

Our experts in the CRN Specialty Group can advise on delivering your metabolic and endocrine study in the NHS and in particular geographic regions.

Professor John Wilding is the CRN National Specialty Lead for metabolic and endocrine disorders. Read Professor Wilding’s full biography.

Professor Wilding is supported by local specialty leads in each of the 15 NIHR Local Clinical Research Networks.

  • Find the local specialty lead in your region

Our collaborators and stakeholders

Clinical research is being undertaken across the United Kingdom. We continue to work closely with the ScottishWelsh and Northern Irish clinical research networks to support the design and delivery of high quality research.

Society for Endocrinology

Society for Endocrinology (SfE) supports scientists, clinicians and nurses who work with hormones throughout their careers. They also engage policy-makers, journalists, patients and the public with hormone science to encourage informed health decisions, and to demonstrate the value of endocrinology to the wider world.

Most researchers in the speciality group are SfE members and contribute to its clinical networks in different areas of endocrine disease. The SfE also supports the network’s interactions with the life sciences industry to help bring the latest innovations into clinical practice and bring opportunities for clinical research to the UK.

The society supports early career researchers in both basic and clinical science, helping researchers to design and implement their research studies using the society’s close links with patient support groups that include people with endocrine disease.

British Inherited Metabolic Disease Group

British Inherited Metabolic Disease Group’s aim is to improve the provision of services for patients with inherited metabolic disorders. These are rare conditions, and most people are cared for in regional centres in the UK.

The group works closely with the network to identify suitable studies and provide unique opportunities for people living with these rare disorders to have access to the latest treatment options through research studies. This means that the UK is uniquely placed to deliver high quality clinical research in this area.

Funding

Our funding programmes fund high quality research in metabolic and endocrine disorders that benefits the NHS, public health and social care. We also provide career development funding awards for researchers - see the careers tab for more information.

Our funding programmes

Our commissioned research programmes often seek research proposals on metabolic and endocrine disorders. Most of our funding programmes also run funding calls open to research proposals on any topic (researcher-led calls), including topics related to metabolic and endocrine disorders.

We have previously held a themed call on prevention and treatment of obesity (2015). NIHR themed calls are funding opportunities focusing on a particular research topic, in which all our funding programmes participate.

Got an idea for research in metabolic and endocrine disorders? The NIHR Research Design Service can help you turn it into a funding application, offering advice on research design, research methods, identifying funding sources, and involving patients and the public.

Our portfolio of metabolic and endocrine disorders research

You can search and view all the metabolic and endocrine disorders research we’ve funded on NIHR Funding and Awards.

In addition, a number of our research programmes publish comprehensive accounts of our metabolic and endocrine disorders research in the NIHR Journals Library.

Our research units

NIHR Policy Research Units (PRUs) undertake research to inform government and arms-length bodies making policy decisions about health and social care. The units create a critical mass of experts for research in priority areas for health and social care policy.

The following PRU undertakes research in metabolic and endocrine disorders:

Careers

The NIHR attracts, trains and supports the best researchers in metabolic and endocrine disorders to tackle the complex health and care challenges of the future.

Our investment in people sustains excellent research capacity and expertise throughout clinical and non-clinical academic career pathways and provides high quality learning and development opportunities for the delivery workforce in our infrastructure.

Funding research careers

The NIHR Academy is responsible for the development and coordination of NIHR academic training, career development and research capacity development.

There is a wide range of NIHR training and career development awards available at different career stages, from pre-doctoral through to Research Professorships. These awards comprise both personal awards, which can be applied for directly with the NIHR, and institutional awards which should be applied for through the host institution.

Supporting the delivery workforce

Our National Specialty Leads and Specialty Groups are integral to engaging potential research leaders of the future. The Specialty Group has a trainee lead and we are actively engaging with trainee networks by supporting various events and initiatives.

Support

The NIHR invests significantly in people, centres of excellence, collaborations, services and facilities to support health and care research in England. Collectively these form the world-class NIHR infrastructure.

This national research infrastructure is available to use by UKRI, research charities and the life sciences industry as well as NIHR researchers.

NIHR Biomedical Research Centres

NIHR Biomedical Research Centres (BRCs) are collaborations between world-leading universities and NHS organisations that bring together academics and clinicians to translate lab-based scientific breakthroughs into potential new treatments, diagnostics and medical technologies.

The following BRCs undertake research in metabolic and endocrine disorders:

NIHR Medtech and In vitro diagnostics Co-operatives

NIHR Medtech and In vitro diagnostics Co-operatives (MICs) build expertise and capacity in the NHS to develop new medical technologies and provide evidence on commercially-supplied in vitro diagnostic tests.

The following MIC undertakes research in metabolic and endocrine disorders:

MRC-NIHR National Phenome Centre

The MRC-NIHR National Phenome Centre brings together leading academics in the field of metabolic phenotyping. The centre delivers its world-class molecular-phenotyping service using a complimentary mix of analytical platforms, that work in concert to provide the greatest coverage.

NIHR Clinical Research Network

The NIHR Clinical Research Network (CRN) supports set up and delivery of clinical research in the NHS and in other health and care settings. Find out more on the delivery tab.

Experts

The NIHR funds and supports world-class experts in metabolic and endocrine disorders.

In addition, our experts in the NIHR Clinical Research Network (National Specialty Leads) can advise on delivering your metabolic and endocrine disorders study in the NHS or in other health and social care settings.

National Specialty Lead

Professor John Wilding is the National Specialty Lead for metabolic and endocrine disorders for the NIHR Clinical Research Network. He leads clinical research into obesity, diabetes and endocrinology at the University of Liverpool.

Prof Wilding has published over 250 research papers, chapters and review articles related to his clinical and laboratory research interests in the pathophysiology of obesity and type 2 diabetes and evaluation of new treatments.

Read Professor Wilding’s full biography

Public involvement

We engage with and involve patients, carers, service users and members of the public in order to improve the reach, quality and impact of research in metabolic and endocrine disorders.

Have your say in research

We involve patients, carers, service users and members of the public in our national research funding and support activities, including in metabolic and endocrine disorders research.

The researchers we fund also involve patients in planning and delivering their metabolic and endocrine disorders research.

Our Local Clinical Research Networks involve people in metabolic and endocrine disorders research taking place in your local area.

Take part in research

Be Part of Research is an online service that lists opportunities to take part in metabolic and endocrine disorders research across the UK.

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